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Friday, December 02, 2022

Avocado eating linked to 16% -22% lower risk of heart disease

This is not to say that avocado eaters are necessarily better than everyone else. But a study published on March 30 in the Journal of the American Heart Association (JAHA) delivered a heartfelt message to all who regularly “guac” their worlds with green and yellow goodness. The study found that people who ate at least two servings of avocados a week had a 16% lower likelihood of developing cardiovascular disease and a 21% lower likelihood of developing coronary heart disease.

Before telling everyone to kiss your Hass, however, keep in mind where these findings come from and what the associated strengths and limitations of the study may be. This study was an analysis of what happened to 68,786 women who participated in the Nurses’ Health Study (NHS) and 41,701 men who were part of the Health Professionals Follow-up Study (HPFS) over the course of a few decades. The NHS started in 1976 and has since enrolled 121,700 female registered nurses who were between 30 and 55 years old, relatively healthy to begin with, and from 11 different U.S. states. The HPFS started in 1986 and has since enrolled 51,529 male health workers who were between 40 and 75 years old, initially relatively healthy, and from all 50 U.S. states. Both of these studies did not just focus on avocado eating, because, believe it or not, people do have other activities in life. However, they provided a significant amount of data for this avocardiovascular study published in JAHA.

After completing initial questionnaires about their health, including their diet at enrollment, participants from both studies had to provide updates every two years thereafter. For the avocardiovascular study, a team from Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health and Brigham and Women’s Hospital (Lorena S. Pacheco, Yanping Li, Eric B. Rimm, JoAnn E. Manson, Qi Sun, Kathryn Rexrode, Frank B Hu, and Marta Guasch-Ferré) analyzed data from these cohorts collected from 1986.

This study did rely on self-reporting of things like avocado intake. Although people are unlikely to deliberately lie about avocado intake, as few schools and businesses have had avocado mandates, people are not always good at remembering what they ate. Heck, some people might not even know what’s currently in their mouths at that time without the help of a teleprompter. Nevertheless, the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health team began their analysis by excluding the study participants who did not answer the questions about avocado consumption. This is because it was difficult to say whether these people did not answer because they did not actually consume avocados, accidentally skipped the questions, or somehow tried to avoid avocado persecution. They also excluded anyone who had already developed heart disease, stroke, or cancer or had daily total caloric intake that was extremely low or extremely high.

Over the course of 30 years, study participants had a total of 14,274 new cases of cardiovascular disease. It included 9,185 cases of coronary heart disease and 5,290 strokes. The research team did find significant differences between those who ate two servings or more of treats per week versus those who ate less well. However, this alone was not enough to roast the cardiovascular benefits of avocado. After all, eating avocados versus not eating avocados is probably not the only thing these study participants have done over several decades. For example, some of these people probably also had to buy and slice avocados. Therefore, the research team had to consider other personal characteristics and regular behaviors that could also affect their cardiovascular risk, such as the person’s age, body weight, smoking status, physical activity, aspirin and other medications, multivitamin use, menopausal status, postmenopausal hormone therapy, and use oral contraceptives.

After statistically adjusting for these factors, the research team still found a 16% lower incidence of cardiovascular disease and 21% lower incidence of coronary heart disease among those who had at least two servings of avocados per week compared to those who had less than that. had. . However, they did not find significant differences in the incidence of stroke. The analysis also revealed that replacing half a serving per day of margarine, butter, egg, yogurt, cheese or processed meat with a comparable amount of avocado correlated with a 16% to 22% lower probability of cardiovascular to develop disease. So rather than feasting on that giant wheel of cheese while watching the latest episode of the TV reality show “Married at First Sight”, you might want to swap some avocados instead.

Are such results grounds to avoid celebration? Well, it would not be surprising for avocados to be associated with better cardiovascular health. Avocados are rich in good things like vitamins C, E, K and B6, riboflavin, niacin, folate, pantothenic acid, magnesium, potassium, lutein, beta-carotene, omega-3 fatty acids and fiber. The fat in avocados is also the better variety, the kind that makes you feel full so you do not indulge so much between meals.

Nevertheless, statistical associations alone cannot prove cause and effect. Otherwise, the solution to the current climate change crisis may be to train more pirates as global temperatures increase as the number of pirates at sea decreases over the years, as I described earlier for Forbes. Correlations found in such observational studies can ultimately connect two things that are not really related when each of those things is actually connected to something else. For example, there may be other differences between avocado eaters and non-avocado eaters, besides being super fantastic, which in turn can confuse the results. Let’s face it, avocado toast is not exactly the cheapest food available. Therefore, avocado eaters could have had more financial resources available on average. Or maybe they had healthier habits or environment in ways that were not included in the analysis. Furthermore, those who eat avocados may in turn have eaten smaller amounts of unhealthy foods. After all, one tends to have only one mouth. Thus, from this study alone, it may not be clear how much of the value rested in which avocados were offered directly, versus which avocados might have prevented people from eating otherwise. Therefore, “avocados do not draw much more from this latest study than it really can offer.

Ultimately, however, this latest avocardiovascular study provides another piece of evidence that the inclusion of avocados in your diet can be beneficial to your health. So there seems to be even more reason to “avocuddle” the green and yellow goodness. More studies may help to better characterize the specific relationships between avocado consumption and cardiovascular health. And it may not be very difficult to find study participants who are willing to be fed avocados.

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