According to Harvard scientists, eating an avocado a week reduces the risk of heart disease by more than a fifth.
Eating two or more servings, equivalent to a whole avocado, appears to reduce the risk of developing coronary artery disease by 21 percent compared to the risk faced by people who don’t eat it.
High in fiber, healthy fats and other key nutrients like magnesium and vitamins C, E and K, avocados have grown in popularity in recent years and are often served “battered” on sourdough bread with poached eggs in cafes and restaurants.
Previous studies have shown that the fruit, which was first eaten in Mexico at least 7,000 years ago, has various health benefits including lowering cholesterol, body weight, BMI and waist size.
More than 100,000 people were followed for several years during the Harvard study to determine if eating avocados affected long-term health conditions.
Researchers found that eating avocados not only reduced the risk of coronary artery disease, but also reduced the likelihood of developing other cardiovascular diseases by 16 percent.
“Our study provides further evidence that the intake of plant-based unsaturated fats can improve diet quality and is an important part of cardiovascular disease prevention,” said Dr. Lorena Pacheco, lead author of the study from the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health in Boston.
“These are particularly notable results given that avocado consumption has increased sharply in the United States over the past 20 years, according to data from the United States Department of Agriculture.”
Participants in the study, published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, completed food frequency questionnaires at baseline and at four-year intervals. They have been monitored for 30 years, during which more than 14,000 cases of heart problems have been registered.
Researchers found that replacing half a serving of margarine, butter, egg, yogurt, cheese or processed meat with the same amount of avocado every day resulted in about a fifth reduction in the risk of cardiovascular disease.
dr Cheryl Anderson, chair of the American Heart Association’s Council on Epidemiology and Prevention, said, “These findings are significant because a healthy dietary pattern is the cornerstone of cardiovascular health.
“Although no single food is the solution to a routine healthy diet, this study is evidence that avocados have potential health benefits.”
Telegraph Media Group Limited 
https://www.independent.ie/life/health-wellbeing/healthy-eating/harvard-scientists-reveal-what-one-avocado-a-week-can-do-for-you-41505734.html Harvard scientists reveal what one avocado a week can do for you