It’s no secret that the fish food group is one of the healthiest but a new study from the Harvard School of Public Health and the University of Washington confirm that eating fish lowers the risk of dying prematurely.

Researchers analyzed 16 years of data from the Cardiovascular Health Study (CHS) on 2,700 U.S. adults over the aged of 65.

They looked at the proportion of blood omega-3 fatty acids in the adults’ blood samples, and, after taking dietary, lifestyle, and other factors into consideration, found that participants with the highest levels of fatty acids in their blood lived an average of 2.2 years longer than participants with lower levels.

They found that one type of omega-3 fatty acid, DHA, was linked to a 40 percent decreased risk of death from coronary heart disease. EHA was linked to a lower risk of death from heart attack, while DPA was linked to a lower risk of death from stroke. Overall, the participants with the highest levels of all three fatty acids had a 27 percent lower risk of death from all causes.

Researchers discovered that older adults with the highest blood levels of the fatty acids found in fish lived, on average, 2.2 years longer than those with lower levels.

Dariush Mozaffarian, the lead author and associate professor in the Department of Epidemiology at Harvard says “Although eating fish has long been considered part of a healthy diet, few studies have assessed blood omega-3 levels and total deaths in older adults. Our findings support the importance of adequate blood omega-3 levels for cardiovascular health, and suggest that later in life these benefits could actually extend the years of remaining life”.

[box type=”success” align=”aligncenter” ]The American Heart Association recommends eating fish – especially fatty fish – at least twice a week.[/box]

The findings suggest that the biggest bang-for-your-buck is for going from no intake to modest intake, or about two servings of fatty fish per week

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