Eating 2 Servings of Avocados a Week Lowers Risk of Heart Disease, Study Results Show

A 30-year analysis of more than 110,000 health professionals also suggests that replacing animal products, such as bacon, butter, and cheese, with avocado also reduces cardiovascular events.

New research has found that eating 2 or more servings of avocados weekly and substituting avocado for certain fat-containing food wasas associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD), and substituting avocado for certain fat-containing foods was associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular diseasenew research results showed..

The results of pPrevious clinical trials have found indicatedthat avocados have a positive impact on cardiovascular risk factors, including high cholesterol, due because theyto their amount ofcontain healthy fats.

“Our study provides further evidence that the intake of plant-sourced unsaturated fats can improve diet quality and is an important component in cardiovascular disease prevention,” said lead study author Lorena S. Pacheco, PhD, MPH, RDN, a postdoctoral research fellow in the nutrition department at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston, Massachusetts,said in in the press release a statement. “These are particularly notable findings, since the consumption of avocados has risen steeply in the U.S. in the last 20 years, according to data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.”

The research team followed more than 68,780 women between aged 30 and 55 years of age from the Nurses’ Health Study and more than 41,700 men between aged 40 and 75 years of age from the Health Professionals Follow-up Study.

Each study participant was free of cancer, coronary heart disease, and stroke at the start of the study and lived in the United States. Further, the team documented 9185 coronary heart disease events and 5290 strokes during more than 30 years of follow-up. Investigators assessed pParticipants’ diets were assessed using food frequency questionnaires given at the beginning of the study and then every 4 years afterward. They determined aAvocado intake was completedusingfrom a questionnaire item that asked about the amount of consumption and frequency, with 1 serving equaling half of an avocado or a half cup of avocado.

Some highlights of the analysis include:

  • Study participants who ate approximately 2 servings of avocado each week had a 21% lower risk of coronary heart disease and a 16% lower risk of cardiovascular diseaseCVDand a 21% lower risk of coronary heart disease compared withto those who never or rarely ate avocados.
  • Replacing half a serving daily of butter, cheese, eggs, margarine, processed meats, butter, egg,or yogurt, cheese, or processed meats was associated with a 16% to 22% lower risk of cardiovascular diseaseCVD events.
  • Substituting half a serving a day of avocado for the equivalent amount of nuts, olive oil, nuts, and other plant oils showed no additional benefit.

“These findings are significant, because a healthy dietary pattern is the cornerstone for cardiovascular health.,Hhowever, it can be difficult for many Americans to achieve and adhere to healthy eating patterns,” said Cheryl Anderson, PhD, MPH, FAHA, chair of the American Heart Association’s Council on Epidemiology and Prevention, in a press releasesaid in the statement.

Anderson added that Nnew strategies are needed to improve intake of AHA-recommended healthy diets that are rich in vegetables and fruits and vegetables, she said..

“Although no one food is the solution to routinely eating a healthy diet, this study is evidence that avocados have possible health benefits,” Anderson said in a press release. “This is promising, because it is a food item that is popular, accessible, desirable, and easy to include in meals eaten by many Americans at home and in restaurants.”

There were study limitations in the research, including the data collection and the structure of the study population. Further, measurement errors may have affected the study analyses, because of due to dietary consumption being self-reported. Other groups may need to be analyzed also, since becausethe participants were mostly white nurses and other health care professionals.

Reference

Eating two servings of avocados a week linked to lower risk of cardiovascular disease. American Heart Association. News release. March 30, 2022. Accessed April 1, 2022. https://newsroom.heart.org/news/eating-two-servings-of-avocados-a-week-linked-to-lower-risk-of-cardiovascular-disease?preview=9a2a