Avocados and Your Heart
Eat more fruits & vegetable for a heart-healthy diet
Stroke and high blood pressure – How can the nutrients in avocados help!
The fifth leading cause of death in men is stroke, and one of the most common causes of stroke is high blood pressure, which puts unnecessary stress on blood vessel walls. A diet that is low in salt and rich in vegetables, fruits and low-fat dairy products may help lower blood pressure.
Recent studies have also shown that increasing potassium intake may help lower blood pressure. Potassium is a mineral that helps normalize blood pressure and most Americans are falling short of their daily potassium needs according to the latest report released by the 2010 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee.
The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend consuming a diet that's rich in potassium, which blunts the effect of salt on blood pressure and may also reduce the risk of developing kidney stones and possibly bone loss as we get older. One ounce of avocado (1/5 of a medium avocado) provides 140 g of potassium or 4% of the recommended Daily Value (DV).
- Knowing which fats raise LDL (bad) cholesterol and which ones don't is the first step in lowering your risk of heart disease. In addition to the LDL produced naturally by your body, saturated fat, trans-fatty acids and dietary cholesterol can also raise blood cholesterol. Monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats appear to not raise LDL cholesterol.
- Cholesterol can't dissolve in the blood. It has to be transported to and from the cells by carriers called lipoproteins. Low-density lipoprotein, or LDL, is known as "bad" cholesterol. High-density lipoprotein, or HDL, is known as "good" cholesterol.
Mono and polyunsaturated fats, when consumed in moderation and eaten in place of saturated or trans fats, can help reduce blood cholesterol levels and decrease risk for heart disease. Avocados are one of the few fruits that provide "good" fats. Avocados contribute good fats to one's diet, providing 3 g of mono and 0.5 g polyunsaturated fat per 1-oz. serving.
Nutrient Dense avocados can help you meet the American Heart Association’s dietary recommendations:
- Eat a diet that is low to moderate in fat
- Limit saturated fat intake to less than 7% of total daily calories
- Limit trans fats intake to less than 1% of total daily calories
- Limit cholesterol intake to less than 300 mg per day