Is avocado toast your favorite way to start the day? If so, your breakfast is more than just delicious, it’s good for your heart, too. A new study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association finds that eating avocados lowers the risk of heart attacks in both men and women.
These findings are especially important as cardiovascular disease is a leading killer worldwide, responsible for nearly 18-million deaths a year, according to the World Health Organization. In the U.S. alone, the CDC reports that heart disease takes a life every 36 seconds. But loading up on avocados can help prevent that. The study of more than 68-thousand women and 41-men finds:
- Eating at least two servings of avocado a week - which is half an avocado or half a cup of it - reduces the risk of having a heart attack by 21%, compared to rarely or never eating avocados.
- Having half a serving of avocado a day instead of the same amount of eggs, yogurt, cheese, butter, margarine or processed meats like bacon lowers the risk of heart attacks by 16% to 22%.
The American Heart Association says our bodies need fat to boost energy, protect organs, produce hormones and help with nutrient absorption. Avocados are especially good sources of monounsaturated fat, polyunsaturated fat and fiber, which are heart-healthy. Other good sources of these fats include walnuts, almonds, olives, olive oil and seeds including pumpkin and flax. Beyond your diet, the National Library of Medicine recommends these ways to prevent heart disease:
- Keeping weight, blood pressure and cholesterol under control
- Getting plenty of good-quality sleep and regular exercise
- Limiting alcohol use and avoiding tobacco use
- And managing stress