According to the latest reports, avocados are a rich fruit that is loaded with polyunsaturated fats and monosaturated fats. This report also states that there is a dependable relationship between eating avocados and serious cardiovascular events.
According to senior cardiologists of hospitals in Pakistan, cardiovascular diseases are one of the leading causes of fatalities all around the globe. But it is also highly preventable if one takes good care of their diet.
The recent studies have culminated the fact that avocado consumption when done in the right manner tends to improve the overall heart activity. These kinds of studies can provide a better insight into how one can incorporate avocado into their meals so that one can enjoy the benefits of a healthy heart in the longer run.
In order to understand this link we first must have knowledge about the various cardiovascular issues that are wreaking havoc for quite some time.
Common Cardiovascular Diseases
Some of the common heart issues that can lead to serious complications are as follows:
- Heart valve complications
- Heart attack
- Heart failure
The Research Group
This collaborative research used data from the Health Professionals Follow Up Study and the Nurses’ Health Studies. These are ongoing studies which were first originated in 1986. The main goal of these studies is to find the interlink between dietary habits and the onset of serious health complications in both males and females.
Currently, this research group comprises almost 62,225 females and 41,701 males. The main factor which was kept in mind while selecting these males and females was that they should not have any previous medical history of any heart disease or stroke or cancer.
The researchers also made sure to perform a medical background check-up to assess any incidence of angina or stroke. This is a long-term study in which the participants were tracked for as long as 30 years. This was also followed by several dietary surveys such as hypertension, and type 2 diabetes. Both these conditions can serve as real-time risk factors for cardiovascular diseases.
At the conclusion of their study, the researchers find out that there were 14,274 cases of cardiovascular complications as well as 5,290 cases of strokes were also reported.
The scientists were quick to find out that those who were quick with the consumption of avocado had high levels of total energy. This was also followed by a diet that had all the right balance of other ingredients such as whole grains, dairy products, nuts, yogurt, and cheese.
The researchers also made sure to adjust the dietary patterns of the people so that more effective results can be deduced. Such as they made sure to convince people to add two servings of avocado per week. This led to a serious shift in the onset of the diseases such as 16% lower chances of CVD and 21% lower risk of CHD. This was more apparent in those who were not eating avocados.
In addition to all this, the substitution of high-fat foods such as mayonnaise, margarine, butter, yogurt, egg, cheese, and other processed meats with the same serving of avocado was also linked to a serious decline in the risk of serious cardiovascular issues.
The Underlying Link
The first author of the study Lorena Pacheco is a postdoctoral research fellow at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health tried to explain the underlying link and said that
“Avocados are a nutrient-rich food item with favorable food compounds including monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats (healthy fats), vitamins, minerals, soluble fiber, vegetable proteins, phytosterols, and polyphenols. There are potential biological mechanisms by which avocados offer cardioprotective benefits.
The primary monounsaturated fatty acid present in avocados is oleic acid – healthy fat – and it is suggested that it helps in reducing hypertension, inflammation, and insulin sensitivity”
She further went on to say that “Additionally, they contain plant sterols that could have favorable effects on lipid profiles. [Also], the soluble fiber intake in avocados can also lead to a better lipid profile, meaning lower ‘bad cholesterol levels.”
The Limitations of the Study
There are some limitations that were also highlighted by the scientists. The very first issue was the nature of the study. As the study was an observational one thus it meant that there was no ground on which they could have built a cause and effect relationship. Shannon Hoos Thompson who is a senior cardiologist said that
“To put the findings in perspective, eating less cardiovascular unhealthy food may be the explanation [rather] than the result being specific to avocado consumption.”
The second issue was that of race or ethnicity as all the nurses were of white background. However, it was reported that the authors made use of repeated dietary assessment methods so their results are of prime importance.