Open Accessibility Menu

Avocado, anyone? How to take advantage of the benefits of avocado

Avocado, anyone? How to take advantage of the benefits of avocado

Guacamole lovers, unite! Suppose you love this avocado-based delicacy or avocado on its own. In that case, you’re not only delighting your taste buds, but also protecting your heart. There are several known health benefits of avocado.

Eating a healthy diet is an important step toward keeping your heart healthy. The basics of a heart-healthy diet aren’t overly complicated—you want to fill your plate with plenty of fresh vegetables and fruit, lean source of protein, such as fish and chicken, and dietary fiber in the form of whole grains. But beyond those basics, you can also choose specific foods with known health benefits. Avocados are one of them.

What avocados can do for your heart health

OK, so what’s the big deal about avocados? Some researchers, who we can only assume are avocado lovers, recently released the results of a 30-year study related to this fruit. The study looked at more than 110,000 health professionals and found that participants who ate at least two servings of avocado a week had a lower risk of cardiovascular disease than those who rarely or never ate avocado.

Research also showed that using avocado, which contains healthy fats, in place of foods containing unhealthy saturated fats, such as butter or cheese, lowered a person’s risk of coronary heart disease. The researchers emphasized that eating plant-based fat, such as the fat in avocado, is much healthier for the heart than eating animal-based fat, like butter or bacon.

When it comes to avocado consumption, there’s no magic number. Like any food containing fat, avocados are best eaten in moderation. Aiming for a small portion a few times a week is a heart-healthy plan.

The skinny on healthy fats

Now you know what the research says about avocados specifically. But what’s the scoop on fat in your diet? Believe it or not, not all fat is bad. In fact, you need some fat in your diet to keep your body functioning. Dietary fat gives your body energy and supports your body’s cells.

The type of fat is very important, though. While a gram of fat contains the same amount of calories regardless of what kind it is, certain fats are unhealthy for your heart. Saturated and trans fats are considered “bad” fats because they can raise your low-density lipoprotein or LDL cholesterol and increase the risk of heart disease and stroke. These fats are primarily found in animal-based foods, such as beef and dairy, although some trans fats are artificial.

On the other hand, unsaturated fats are considered “good” fats. While they should still be eaten in moderation, foods containing unsaturated fats—including monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats—are better for your heart. These fats are a key part of the Mediterranean diet, a way of eating that’s considered heart healthy. This diet is recommended by the American Heart Association and other heart health experts. This eating plan is based on fruit, vegetables, grains, beans, fish and plant-based fats.

Avocado is one source of plant-based fat. These healthier fats can also be found in olives and olive oil, nuts and nut butter, seeds, and oils like canola and sesame.

Avocado in action: Cajun-spiced guacamole

Want to add more avocado into your diet—and give one of your favorite foods a regional flair? Take advantage of avocado’s healthy fats with this recipe:


3 avocados

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon salt (if desired)

1 green, red or orange bell pepper, diced

1 cup cherry tomatoes, diced

4 garlic cloves, chopped

1/2 teaspoon celery salt

1 teaspoon paprika

Preparation Instructions

Mash together avocados, lemon juice and salt. Once well-mashed, blend in the remainder of the ingredients. Use more or less spice as desired. Enjoy!

When your heart’s in trouble, you want a team of heart health experts close to home. That’s what we’re here for. Schedule an appointment with an LCMC Health cardiologist.