On Monday, a study confirmed that certain types of fish might be better for people than previously thought. Fish lovers can rejoice, because those that are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids might just be linked to a longer life overall. The study consisted of 2,600 older adults, and it found that those that had the highest amounts of Omega-3 fatty acids in their blood lived for an average of two years longer than their non-fish eating counterparts.
Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian, who is one of the researchers for the study, and is also an associate professor of epidemiology with the Harvard School of Public Health, stresses that the study was not meant to measure what fish oil supplements can do for people; it had more to do with the effects of Omega-3 fatty acids in relation to the diets that people have.
While he also stresses that the study, which was published on April 1, in the journal called Annals of Internal Medicine, doesn’t definitively find that those who eat more fatty fish will live longer, there is undoubtedly a link between those that had higher levels of Omega-3 fatty acids in their blood and a reduced death rate, especially when it comes to death caused from cardiovascular problems.
When added to a diet, fatty fish not only contain the essential fatty acids, but they also contain nutrient dense protein, which can help people to maintain a healthy weight. While it is clear that Omega -3 fatty acids do have a positive effect on the body when it comes to heart diseases, it has not been established what other conditions these acids can help to fight or prevent.
Some of the fish that have the highest amounts of Omega-3 fatty acids include salmon, mackerel, lake trout, albacore tuna and herring. The American Heart Association recommends that people have at least two 3.5 ounce servings of fatty fish weekly. Women that are pregnant or considering becoming pregnant and children may need to stick to that intake or reduce it due to the amount of mercury that some fish contain, but everyone else should make it a point to enjoy fatty fish at least twice weekly.
Researchers admit that they can’t be certain that the longevity of their study participants was due to a healthier life overall, with better dietary choices and more exercise, or if the longer lives were due to the increase in Omega-3 fatty acids alone, but it is clear that there is a definite link.
No matter whether the Omega-3 fatty acids are the link to longevity, or living long has more to do with an overall healthy lifestyle, it is clear that those who are looking for a way to get more benefits from their diet will do well to eat more fish like salmon, tuna and mackerel. In addition to other lifestyle changes, and plenty of exercise and activity, fish can be an excellent way to improve the overall health.