DALLAS, July 26, 2022 — Adding avocados to a healthy diet could reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease, including lowering your cholesterol, according to research published by the American Heart Association. That’s especially good news because the consumption of avocados in the U.S. has nearly tripled in the past two decades, up to nearly 2.6 billion pounds a year, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Avocados contain high amounts of fiber, potassium, magnesium, folate, vitamin C and vitamin K. The fruit is a known source of healthy, unsaturated fats and a great replacement for certain fat-containing foods like butter, cheese or processed meats.
- People who ate at least one avocado each week had a 16% lower risk of cardiovascular disease and a 21% lower risk of coronary heart disease, compared to those who never or rarely ate avocados.
- Replacing half a serving daily of margarine, butter, egg, yogurt, cheese or processed meats such as bacon with the same amount of avocado was associated with a 16% to 22% lower risk of cardiovascular disease events.
“Although avocados are not a total solution to improving heart health, research shows substantial benefits to adding them to your diet,” said Mayra L. Estrella, Ph.D., M.P.H., a member of the American Heart Association’s Council on Lifestyle and Cardiometabolic Health and an assistant professor in the Department of Epidemiology, Human Genetics, and Environmental Sciences at the University of Texas Health Science Center School of Public Health in Houston. “However, everything in moderation because avocados are not calorie-free. A medium avocado averages about 240 calories and 24 grams of fat, according to the California Avocado Commission. Yet, they are a source of healthy fat that can be eaten in place of "bad" saturated fat in a typical diet. And of course, if you’re eating them in guacamole or another types of dip, you’ll want to be careful not to indulge in too many chips, as well.”
The research on avocados aligns with the American Heart Association’s guidance to follow the Mediterranean diet – a dietary pattern focused on fruits, vegetables, grains, beans, fish and other healthy foods and plant-based fats such as olive, canola, sesame and other non-tropical oils.
Studies published in the American Heart Association’s scientific journals are peer-reviewed. The statements and conclusions in each manuscript are solely those of the study authors and do not necessarily reflect the Association’s policy or position. The Association makes no representation or guarantee as to their accuracy or reliability. The Association receives funding primarily from individuals; foundations and corporations (including pharmaceutical, device manufacturers and other companies) also make donations and fund specific Association programs and events. The Association has strict policies to prevent these relationships from influencing the science content. Revenues from pharmaceutical and biotech companies, device manufacturers and health insurance providers and the Association’s overall financial information are available here.
- Spanish release
- AHA News Release: New look at nutrition research identifies 10 features of a heart-healthy eating pattern (Nov. 2021)
- AHA News Release: Eating more plant foods may lower heart disease risk in young adults, older women (August 2021)
- AHA health information: 4 Ways to Get Good Fats Infographic
About the American Heart Association
The American Heart Association is a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives. We are dedicated to ensuring equitable health in all communities. Through collaboration with numerous organizations, and powered by millions of volunteers, we fund innovative research, advocate for the public's health and share lifesaving resources. The Dallas-based organization has been a leading source of health information for nearly a century. Connect with us on heart.org, Facebook, Twitter or by calling 1-800-AHA-USA1.
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