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Two Servings of This Food Per Week May Lower Your Risk of Heart Disease

Thankfully, this food is both delicious and good for your heart health.
FACT CHECKED BY Kiersten Hickman

Cardiovascular disease is a terrifying issue that many people experience, especially in the United States. In fact, it's been reported that over 82 million Americans suffer from it. With scary statistics like this, it's no wonder people are trying to figure out the best lifestyle changes to make and foods to eat for heart disease.

Thankfully, brand new research in the Journal of the American Heart Association found that eating two or more servings of avocado per week may be able to lower your risk of cardiovascular disease and coronary heart disease.

Here's what the new study's results could mean for your heart health, and for more healthy heart tips, check out 3 Best Foods to Reduce Your Risk of Heart Disease.

The nature of the study


Researchers followed the dietary patterns of the study's participants for thirty years. At the beginning of the study, every participant was asked to fill out a questionnaire about what they ate and how often they ate it, with one of the questions being centered on avocados. After the initial questionnaire, participants were given a new one to fill out every four years.

It is important to note that because this study revolves around self-examination and reporting, there is a larger room for error or false information, which the American Heart Association (AHA) acknowledges at the end of their study.

Who participated


For this giant observational study, researchers followed over 68,000 women between the ages of 30 and 55 and over 41,000 men between the ages of 40 to 75 years old. At the beginning of the study, no participants had any cases of cancer, stroke, or coronary heart disease.

The participants were all mostly white healthcare professionals living in the United States, so again, this study does have its limitations.

What they observed

woman holding bowl of salad, avocado, grains, beans, and veggies

At the end of the thirty-year observational study, researchers found around 9,185 cases of coronary heart disease and about 5,290 incidents of stroke.

After researchers took some factors into consideration—like the overall diet of the participants and several cardiovascular disease risk factors—they concluded that people who ate two or more servings of avocado (1/3 of an avocado counts as a serving) per week had a 21% lower risk of developing coronary heart disease and 16% lower chance of cardiovascular disease.

They also found that unfortunately, avocado consumption seemed to not have very little effect on reducing the risk of stroke.

What this means for your health

avocado toast

These results show that not only are avocados a great food for heart disease, but it further proves that eating a diet high in plant-based unsaturated fats and lowering your consumption of saturated fat can significantly improve your heart health.

The researchers involved in this study concluded that replacing foods like butter, margarine, processed meats, and cheese with one serving of avocado can help lower your risk of cardiovascular events by 16% to 22%. Not only that, but the AHA states that these findings further support the incorporation of something like the Mediterranean Diet into American lifestyles.

So if you're looking to improve your heart health and lower your risk of heart disease, you may want to talk to your doctor or dietitian about incorporating more avocados and plant-based unsaturated fats into your diet. There is no miracle food that can save your heart, but adopting a healthy diet along with other important lifestyle changes can make an enormous difference.

Samantha Boesch
Samantha was born and raised in Orlando, Florida and now works as a writer in Brooklyn, NY. Read more about Samantha