Take Your Heart's Health to Heart
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, but there is plenty you can do to help prevent it. A healthy diet, physical activity, and not smoking are three key ways to keep your heart strong and healthy.
The Dietary Guidelines for Americans states that replacing some saturated fatty acids with unsaturated fatty acids lowers both total and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) blood cholesterol levels. Research also supports the importance of improving the fat quality of the diet by choosing better fats like monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which are associated with improved blood lipids. Avocados contain both monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.
Avocados can help boost fruit intake and are considered nutrient-dense. Over 75% of the fat in avocados is unsaturated (good fats).
Did You Know
Studies show replacing saturated fat with unsaturated fat, while staying within calorie needs, is more effective in reducing the risk of heart disease than simply lowering total fat intake.
Avocados contribute good fats to one’s diet, providing 5 grams monounsaturated fat and 1 gram of polyunsaturated grams fat per 50g serving.
Avocados and Heart Disease
Avocados can help consumers meet the heart-healthy diet goals of the American Heart Association, which include:
- Eat a variety of nutritious foods from all the food groups. Eating a variety of fruits and vegetables may help you control your weight, cholesterol and your blood pressure. Avocados can help boost fruit intake and are considered nutrient-dense.
- Eat less of the nutrient-poor foods. Limit the amount of saturated fat, trans fat and sodium you eat.
- The fats in the foods you eat should not total more than 25–35 percent of the calories you eat in a given day… and, for good health, the majority of those fats should be monounsaturated or polyunsaturated.
- Over 75% of the fat in avocados is unsaturated (good fats).
- Consuming less than 1500 mg of sodium/day.
- Use up at least as many calories as you take in. Aim for 30 minutes of physical activity a day. If you would benefit from lowering your blood pressure or cholesterol, the American Heart Association recommends 40 minutes of aerobic exercise of moderate to vigorous intensity three to four times a week.