Healthy fats in fish and vegetables could prolong life

Chuck Bednar for – @BednarChuck

Eating fish and vegetables could help you live longer, according to a new study which found that men and women in their sixties with higher levels of beneficial polyunsaturated fats were less likely to die over a 15-year-span than those with the lowest levels of PUFAs.

According to Reuters, senior author Dr. Ulf Riserus, a nutrition researcher at Uppsala University in Sweden, and his colleagues looked at more than 4,000 subjects and discovered that those who consumed the most of these “good” fats were significantly less likely to die than those who had consumed less PUFAs.

“The study supports current dietary guidelines that advise having sufficient intake of both fish and vegetable oils in a heart-healthy diet,”claimed Dr. Riserus, whose research has been published in the American Heart Association journal Circulation. His team added that the type of fats people consume, not the amount, may be the key to good health.

Healthy fats

As Reuters explained, research has shown that polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats can promote healthy cholesterol levels, especially when replacing saturated and trans fats. The good fats can be found in fish such as salmon, trout, and herring; in avocados, olives, and walnuts; and in liquid vegetable oils, they added.

Dr. Riserus and his colleagues recruited nearly 2,200 women and more than 2,000 men, tested their levels of different types of fats, and followed half of them for a minimum of 14.5 years. Over the course of the study, 265 men and 191 women died, while an additional 294 men and 190 women had heart attacks or other cardiovascular events.

Higher circulating levels of the fatty acid linoleic acid were linked to a 27 percent reduction in likelihood of death among men (but not among women) during the course of the study. For both males and females, two fatty acids found in fish (EPA and DHA) were associated with an about 20 percent lower odds of death, Reuters said.

However, the study authors noted that their study did have some limitations. For one thing, the blood test for fats was only conducted once. Also, the limited number of cardiovascular-related deaths makes it difficult to draw conclusions on the impact of such fats, especially when males and females are examined separately.


Follow redOrbit on TwitterFacebookGoogle+, Instagram and Pinterest.