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Avocados Help the Heart

By Sandy Schroeder

I love it when my favorite foods turn out to be even healthier than I thought. Everybody approves of avocadoes, but now a new study from the American Heart Association says two servings of avocado a week could reduce your risk of having a heart attack. 

Instead of reaching for buttered toast, a slice of cheddar or a piece of salami, help yourself to avocado toast or guacamole, about 80 grams, to give your heart a boost. 

Then go right ahead and slice an avocado into your salad and top your turkey burgers. Add avocadoes to your weekly grocery list and see how many new ways you can include avocadoes.  

Martha Stewart spotlighted this avocado news recently while also telling us that owning a cat and having an extra cup of coffee could help our hearts too. For me, all three are winners. 

Researchers said eating a quarter cup of avocado instead of the same servings of processed meats, cheese, margarine, butter, or yogurt helped limit the heart attack risk by as much as 22 percent. 

Additional ways to get healthy fats can be found in beans, chickpeas, and lentils. Researchers also recommend cutting your use of sugar and avoiding saturated fats and processed foods to keep your heart healthy. 

More Heart Tips to Try 

While you are thinking about your heart, here are some more heart diet tips from the Mayo Clinic. 

Put vegetables and fruits front and center - Why not make fresh fruits and crisp vegetables the centerpiece of your shopping. Start with a visit to your farmers market and pick low-calorie, fiber-rich apples, pears, bananas and berries. Then add leafy greens, fresh spinach, Brussels sprouts, carrots, cabbage and tomatoes to prevent cardiovascular disease. 

Choose whole grains - Help lower blood pressure and improve heart health by substituting whole grains for refined grain choices. Your heart will appreciate the extra doses of fiber and healthy nutrients. 

Cut out unhealthy fats - Reduce blood cholesterol and reduce your risk of a heart attack by skipping the burgers, processed meats, butter, and ice cream. Avoid building plaques in the arteries and reduce your chance of a stroke or heart disease. 

Make smart protein choices - Lean poultry, meat and fish coupled with low fat dairy and eggs can make a difference in your heart health. Fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids, and beans, peas and lentils are smart protein choices.  

Every time you make a smart heart healthy diet choice you reduce the risk of stroke and heart disease. 

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Lincoln, Nebr.  

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