We have all heard that “an apple a day keeps the doctor away,” yes?
Well, it turns out that apples are not the only “health fruit” you should eat.
Enter the humble avocado fruit.
Or is it a vegetable?
It depends, but that is not the point of this post.
Regardless, if you love avocados (as we do here at the Krull home), then I bring you another reason to enjoy eating more of them.
Drum roll, please.
Eating two servings of avocado each week can lower your risk of heart disease.
Such was the finding recently published in the Journal of the American Heart Association.
According to a recent article from Money Talks News titled “Eating This Food Can Sharply Lower Your Risk of Heart Disease,” eating healthy avocados instead of fatty foods like butter, cheese or processed meats results in a lower risk of cardiovascular events, like coronary heart disease and stroke.
More on that below.
This is great news on the heels of previous research finding that avocados can reduce cardiovascular risk factors, such as high cholesterol.
So, where are these little medical miracles grown?
Avocados are native to Mexico and Central America, but they are also grown in many parts of the world.
This includes North America.
Drilling down even further, California is the top producer of avocados right here in the USA.
Would you believe the Golden State is home to more than 5,000 avocado farms, which generate more than 400 million pounds of avocados each year?
Used in guacamole, salads, and tacos, avocados are an important part of traditional Mexican, Central American, and South American dishes.
The AHA says the latest study is believed to be the “first, large, prospective study to support the positive association between higher avocado consumption and lower cardiovascular events.”
So, what is behind these findings?
Researchers studied 30 years of dietary data from more than 68,000 women ages 30 to 55, and more than 41,000 men ages 40 to 75.
Among other things, the researchers found those who ate at least two servings of avocado each week had a 16% lower risk of heart disease and a 21% lower risk of coronary heart disease than those eating fewer avocados.
In fact, substituting as little as half a serving daily of several types of food — think butter, cheese, egg, margarine, yogurt or processed meats, such as bacon — with an equivalent amount of avocado lowered the risk of cardiovascular events by 16% to 22%.
That certainly is an easy win.
In addition, avocados are a terrific source of both fiber and monounsaturated fats, which are often characterized as healthy fats.
The researchers also noted that U.S. government data shows avocado consumption has risen sharply over the past 20 years.
What are you waiting for?
If you have not incorporated avocados into your diet, consider adding them to your “heart healthy” grocery list today.
Reference: Money Talks News (May 23, 2002) “Eating This Food Can Sharply Lower Your Risk of Heart Disease”