An avocado a day can drastically slash heart attack risk: Study
The millennials’ favourite fruit is great for the heart, say, researchers. iStock
It can sometimes get very hard to keep up with the constantly changing dietary trends. For this reason, health experts now seem to be turning their attention to the health benefits of specific foods. One of these foods is avocado, as stated in a report in Medical News Today.
Based on the results of research funded by Hass Avocado Board, researchers have found that those participants who ate an avocado daily had lower bad cholesterol levels and improved their diet quality.
Therefore, researchers have today concluded that the millennials’ favourite fruit is great for the heart, said a report in the Daily Mail. According to the report, a study has found that eating more potassium, which is abundant in avocados as well as bananas, may stave off a heart attack or stroke.
Nutritional expert Dr Brian Power, who was not involved in the study, explained to Medical News Today the connection between blood cholesterol levels and heart health.
He is quoted as saying, “Convincing evidence from studies paints a picture of blood cholesterol levels being important for heart health. Elevated levels are an important risk factor for cardiovascular disease, including cerebrovascular disease and coronary heart disease.”
It is said that people can modify their diets to keep cholesterol at healthy levels. However, research is ongoing with regard to the factors that influence cholesterol levels. One particular area of interest is that specific foods can impact health and help improve a person’s overall diet.
For instance, adding avocados to your daily diet is reported to help maintain healthy cholesterol levels.
Besides being a good source of fibre avocados also contain several helpful vitamins like vitamin C and K, informs Medical News Today.
Speaking about how avocados lower cholesterol levels, Sarah Glasser, RD, CDCES, told Eat This, Not That! “They increase how fast triglyceride-rich lipoproteins are broken down and by stopping the liver from producing more VLDL (one level worse than LDL!),” which “means there is less LDL in your bloodstream overall.”
According to the report in the Daily Mail, every extra 1g of potassium consumed daily, roughly one avocado (975mg), is linked to a 2.4mmHg drop in systolic blood pressure.
In order to estimate how much sodium and potassium were consumed by people daily, a study reportedly tracked almost 25,000 Brits aged between 40 and 79 for almost 20 years.
The volunteers were grouped by how much potassium they ate per day, ranging from low to high.
The World Health Organization affirms that adults should eat 3.5g per day.
Analysis in the European Heart Journal showed that women with the highest potassium intake had the lowest blood pressure levels – every one-gram increase in daily potassium was linked with a 2.4mmHg drop in blood pressure (as mentioned before).
A separate analysis also revealed that participants who consumed the most potassium were found to be 13 percent less likely to suffer a heart attack or stroke than those who consumed the least.
Liffert Vogt of Amsterdam University Medical Centers, the Netherlands in a report in The Sun is quoted as saying, “The results suggest that potassium helps preserve heart health, but that women benefit more than men.
“It is well known that high salt consumption is associated with elevated blood pressure and a raised risk of heart attacks and strokes.”
She added, “The relationship between potassium and cardiovascular events was the same regardless of salt intake, suggesting that potassium has other ways of protecting the heart on top of increasing sodium excretion.”
Tracy Parker, senior dietitian at the British Heart Foundation added, “This research supports current advice that cutting down our intake of salt and eating more foods containing potassium can be the recipe for a healthier heart.
“An easy way to boost your potassium intake is by eating five portions of fruit and vegetables a day.
“Other foods like pulses, fish, nuts, seeds, and milk are also high in potassium and low in salt, so can help benefit your heart.
“However, keeping healthy isn’t just about monitoring what’s on your plate.
“Limiting your alcohol intake and staying physically active will also help to lower your blood pressure, reducing the risk of a heart attack or stroke.”