A large Swiss study has said that older adults who eat plenty of fish and vegetables may live longer than people who don’t.
Of the over 60-year-old men and women, those with the highest blood levels of polyunsaturated fats (PUFAs), which come from fish and plants, were significantly less likely to die from heart disease or any cause over about 15 years than those with the lowest levels.
According to senior study author Dr. Ulf Riserus, the study supports current dietary guidelines that advise having sufficient intake of both fish and vegetable oils in a heart-healthy diet.
Polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats are the “good” kind that can promote healthy cholesterol levels, especially when used in place of saturated and trans fats, the “bad” actors.
Said fats are found in fish such as salmon, trout and herring, as well as in avocados, olives, walnuts and liquid vegetable oils such as soybean, corn, safflower, canola, olive and sunflower.
Current dietary guidelines suggest that most adults should get no more than 20 to 35% of daily calories from fats.
Most of this should come from good fats, with no more than 10% from saturated fats and as little trans fat as possible.
The researchers however acknowledged that the blood test for fats was only done a single time, which was a limitation foe the study.
In addition, the limited number of deaths from cardiovascular disease make it difficult to draw conclusions on the impact of fats, particularly when examined in men and women separately.
The take-home message of the study was however clear, people should strive to eat more plants and fewer animals