Healthy fats in vegetables and fish lengthen lifespan

Healthy fats in vegetables and fish lengthen lifespan

If you want to live longer, you should make sure you're getting enough healthy fats, according to a new Swedish study. Researchers found that people who have higher blood levels of polyunsaturated fats were less likely to die from any cause over the course of the study period.

Polyunsaturated fats are the healthy kind, as opposed to saturated fats, which can contribute to health problems. They can be found mainly in the oils extracted from fish and plants.

The researchers recruited 2,193 women and 2,039 men to participate in the study. They were tracked for a 14.5-year period, during which their levels of different types of fats circulating in their bloodstreams were recorded. There were 294 men and 190 women who experienced major cardiac events over the course of the study, and 265 men and 191 women died.

High levels of a fatty acid found in vegetable oil called linoleic acid were associated with a 27 percent reduction in mortality rate for the male participants. However, for unknown reasons, the same benefit was not found for women. High levels of EPA and DHA, two fatty acids found in fish, were found to reduce mortality risk by about 20 percent for both men and women.

Dr. Ulf Riserus of Uppsala University wrote in an email to the press, "The study supports current dietary guidelines that advise having sufficient intake of both fish and vegetable oils in a heart-healthy diet."

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