Health Tips Tuesday: avocados could lower risk of heart disease
SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) - A new study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association has found that eating at least two servings of avocado a week is associated with a lower risk of heart disease.
Dr. Lorena Pacheco, a post-doctoral research fellow at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and the lead author of the study, spoke with Western Mass News about the research.
Why does eating two servings of avocados per week reduce the likelihood of developing cardiovascular disease and coronary heart disease?
Pacheco: “The study tracked 110,000 health professionals over a 30-year period and found that those who ate at least two servings of avocado a week had a 16 percent lower risk of heart disease. Avocados contain three compounds associated with cardiovascular health: oleic acid, fiber and vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals - natural chemical compounds in plants that may help prevent chronic disease.”
What were the challenges of this study?
Pacheco: “Because this is an observational study, this is not a causal conncetion. It is not a cause an effect between avocado intake cardiovascular disease.”
How did the study take into effect the health of individuals in the study and other factors related to heart disease?
Pacheco: “At baseline, we only considered patients who were free of cancer, cardiovascular disease since we wanted to observe risk of developing cardiovascular disease. Demographic and lifestyle factors were also considered. These could affect avocado and risk of developing cardiovascular disease. We also accounted for alochol intake and smoking and diet across time.”
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