Confirmed: avocado on toast is good for your health! Scientists Say Potassium-Rich Foods Keep Your Heart Healthy (But Only For Women!)
- Researchers today concluded that avocados are great for your heart
- Eating more potassium, abundant in avocados, can prevent a heart attack
- Only women seem to experience its benefits, achieved by eating an extra 1g per day
If you need an excuse to indulge in avocado on toast, science has it covered.
Researchers have now concluded that the favorite fruit of millennials is good for the heart.
Eating more potassium, abundant in avocados as well as bananas, can prevent heart attack or stroke, according to their study.
Although only women seem to reap the benefits, they are obtained by eating an extra 1g per day – about one avocado (975mg each) – in addition to the recommended daily amount.
A similar amount is also found in three bananas or three cups of milk (375 mg each).
Potassium helps the body pass sodium through the urine, controlling fluid balance in the body.
But Dutch experts, who have discovered the benefits of the popular avo-on-toast, think it can keep the heart healthy in other ways.
If you need an excuse to indulge in avocado on toast, science has it covered. Millennials’ favorite fruit is heart-healthy, researchers today conclude
WHAT SHOULD A BALANCED DIET RESULT IN?
Meals should be based on potatoes, bread, rice, pasta or other starchy carbohydrates, ideally whole grains, according to the NHS
• Eat at least 5 servings of a variety of fruits and vegetables each day. All fresh, frozen, dried and canned fruits and vegetables count
• Meals based on potatoes, bread, rice, pasta or other starches, ideally whole grains
• 30 grams of fiber per day: This is equivalent to eating all of the following foods: 5 servings of fruits and vegetables, 2 whole-grain crackers, 2 thick slices of whole-grain bread, and a large baked potato with the skin on.
• Having dairy products or dairy alternatives (like soy beverages) choosing low fat and low sugar options
• Eat beans, legumes, fish, eggs, meat and other proteins (including 2 servings of fish per week, one of which should be fatty)
• Choose unsaturated oils and spreads and consume them in small amounts
• Drink 6 to 8 cups/glasses of water per day
• Adults should consume less than 6 g of salt and 20 g of saturated fat for women or 30 g for men per day
Source: NHS Eatwell Guide
The study followed nearly 25,000 people for nearly 20 years.
The participants were aged between 40 and 79 when the project started, before the millennium.
All were asked about their lifestyle habits and had blood pressure measurements taken.
Urine samples were taken to allow the researchers to estimate how much sodium and potassium they were consuming daily.
The compound is hidden in everyday fresh foods, making it difficult for people to give an accurate idea of how much they’re getting.
The volunteers were grouped according to the amount of potassium they ate per day, ranging from low to high.
World Health Organization guidelines state that adults should eat 3.5g per day.
The European Heart Journal analysis showed that women with the highest potassium intake had the lowest blood pressure levels.
Every one gram increase in daily potassium was linked to a 2.4 mmHg drop in blood pressure.
Meanwhile, a separate analysis found that participants who consumed the most were 13% less likely to suffer a heart attack or stroke than those who consumed the least.
The results took into account factors that may have skewed the results, such as smoking status, alcohol consumption and underlying health conditions.
Professor Liffert Vogt, a specialist physician at University Medical Centers Amsterdam, said: “Our findings indicate that a heart-healthy diet goes beyond limiting salt to increasing potassium content.”
“Food companies can help by replacing standard sodium-based salt with a potassium salt alternative in processed foods.
“On top of that, we should all prioritize fresh, unprocessed foods because they’re both high in potassium and low in salt.”
Tracy Parker, senior dietitian at the British Heart Foundation, said: “This research supports current advice that reducing our salt intake and eating more potassium-containing foods may be the recipe for a healthier heart.”
“An easy way to increase your potassium intake is to eat five servings of fruits and vegetables a day.
“Other foods like legumes, fish, nuts, seeds, and milk are also high in potassium and low in salt, which can benefit your heart.
“However, staying healthy isn’t just about watching what’s on your plate.
“Limiting your alcohol intake and staying physically active will also help lower your blood pressure, reducing the risk of heart attack or stroke.”