Avocados are pear-shaped fruits that contain tons of essential vitamins like A, B, C, E, K and minerals such as copper, iron, potassium and magnesium, making them a healthy choice for consumption. In the last few years, they have become increasingly popular with people consuming them in the form of smoothies or toast toppings.
And now, a new study has claimed that eating two or more servings of avocado weekly can cut the risk of heart disease by a fifth.
Published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, the study surveyed more than 68,000 women and 41,000 men, who were free of cancer, coronary heart disease, and stroke at baseline, on their diets every four years, over a period of 30 years. In these years, 9, 185 heart attacks and 5,290 strokes were recorded for the research.
The diets of the participants were assessed using food frequency questionnaires given at the beginning of the study, and then every four years. In this, they calculated the avocado intake by considering factors like the amount consumed and frequency.
The researchers found a connection between consuming healthy fats and heart health, identifying that those who ate avocados frequently cut down their risk of coronary heart disease by 21 per cent, compared to those who did not. Additionally, it was suggested that replacing half a serving per day of margarine, butter, egg, yoghurt, cheese or processed meats with the equivalent amount of avocado reduced the risk of heart disease by 16-22 per cent.
“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, ”Dr Lorena Pacheco, lead author from the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health in Boston, US said.
Dr Cheryl Anderson, chair of the American Heart Association’s Council on Epidemiology and Prevention, added, “Although no one food is the solution to routinely eating a healthy dietthis study is evidence that avocados have possible health benefits. “
Notably, substituting avocados for plant boils or nuts was not linked to an additional benefit, the study found.
Talking about the study, Dr Ranjan Shetty, HOD and Consultant – Interventional Cardiology, Manipal Hospital, Old Airport Road said, “The benefits observed in this study may not be translated to a randomized study as the benefits may be the outcome of a healthy lifestyle along with consuming avocado. “
However, he added that “avocados have unsaturated fatty acid along with vitamins and minerals which makes them more beneficial to heart health”. Avocado has more potassium and monounsaturated fat and has good benefits for the heart. It also decreases the bad cholesterol and increases the good cholesterol in the body, Dr Shetty explained.
According to the expert, fat in a required amount is necessary for the body. “Eating avocado twice a week is good for heart health,” he told indianexpress.com.
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