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Reduce Heart Attack Risk: Eat Avocados

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Eating avocados can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, according to a new study recently published in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

Eating at least two servings of avocado a week reduces the risk of having a heart attack by 21% when compared to avoiding or rarely eating avocados.

”It may come as a surprise to learn that fresh avocados are a heart-healthy fruit. After all, haven’t consumers heard that avocados are high in calories and fat? Popular belief is that low-fat diets are important for heart health, and that’s not entirely untrue. But low-fat is not the same as no-fat”, explained Miguel Barcenas, strategy and marketing consultant for the Association of Avocado Exporting Producers and Packers of Mexico (APEAM).

When health experts talk about “good fats” and “bad fats” they aren’t judging your snack habits. Good fats, which are monounsaturated or polyunsaturated, help nourish your body. In fact, Canada’s food guide explains the importance of limiting intakes of saturated fat to support healthy dietary patterns. One-third of a medium avocado offers 5 grams of monounsaturated fat and 1 gram of polyunsaturated fat in every 50-gram serving.

The “bad fats” are trans and saturated fats, which can cause trouble for your heart if they dominate your diet. More than 75% of the fats in avocados are the “good” kind, plus they have zero cholesterol. But the benefits don’t stop there! Avocados are sugar-free and are a good source of fiber (3 grams per 50 gram-serving).

In addition to looking at the overall impact of eating avocados, researchers did statistical modeling and found consuming half a serving of avocado (¼ cup) a day instead of the same amount of eggs, yogurt, cheese, margarine, butter or processed meats (such as bacon) lowered the risk of heart attacks by 16% to 22%.

Best of all, it’s now easier than ever to add avocados into your diet. Avocados are extremely versatile and go fantastically with a number of traditional meals, the latest trends in cuisine, or even plain by themselves. Visit the “how-to” page to learn great tips like choosing a ripe avocado or preparing the avocado in different forms (sliced, diced, mashed…). It’s easier than you think: just cut it in half, twist, remove the pit, cut into long slices or dice into cubes, and you’re all set.

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