Eating Omega-3 Foods Tied to Lower Risk of Death from Heart Disease
Evidence of the health benefits from eating omega-3 foods continues to mount. A global epidemiological study found that including these foods in the diet modestly reduces the risk of death from heart disease.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 610,000 people die of heart disease in the U.S. every year. This statistic indicates the malady is responsible for one out of every four deaths. Omega-3 foods are thought to help prevent such fatalities through several beneficial actions. They decrease inflammation, a condition that can harm blood vessels. The nutrients also reduce blood clotting, blood pressure and triglycerides as well as lower the incidence of irregular heartbeats.
Most Comprehensive Study to Date Shows How Omega-3s Affect Heart Disease
In the study published in JAMA Internal Medicine, researchers from 16 countries analyzed 19 studies involving 45,637 participants. Of these, 7.973 people suffered a first heart attack over time, and 2,781 of the events were fatal. After examining data on blood or tissue levels of omega-3 fatty acids and correlating it with the incidence of heart attacks, the scientists discovered the nutrients had a protective effect. Consumption of the beneficial fat from fish or plant foods was associated with a 10 percent lower risk of a fatal heart attack. However, no link was found between omega-3s and a decreased likelihood of non-fatal heart attacks, which suggests the nutrients reduce the risk of death through a highly specific mechanism.
“These new results, including many studies which previously had not reported their findings, provide the most comprehensive picture to-date of how omega-3s may influence heart disease,” said Liana C Del Gobbo, Ph.D., lead author of the research. “Across these diverse studies, findings were also consistent by age, sex, race, presence or absence of diabetes, and use of aspirin or cholesterol-lowering medications. Our results lend support to the importance of fish and omega-3 consumption as part of a healthy diet.”
Senior author Dariush Mozaffarian, M.D., Dr.P.H. pointed out how the design of the current study was based on evidence that was sounder than that used in earlier research. “Most prior studies of dietary fats have relied on self-reported estimates of intake,” he said. “This new global consortium provides an unprecedented opportunity to understand how blood biomarkers of many different fats and fatty acids relate to diverse health outcomes, and many additional investigations are in progress.”
Food Sources Of Omega-3s
The body doesn’t make omega-3 fatty acids, so they must be obtained from the diet. While all fish contains some amounts, salmon, trout and tuna have the highest levels. The best plant-food sources include walnuts, flaxseeds and chia seeds, but the nutrients are also found in beans, leafy greens and winter squash.
Simply Delicious Salmon Cooking Ideas
Some people may find the idea of cooking fresh salmon intimidating, but I’ve got you covered! The creative, flavorful tips below are provided courtesy of Zoe Blogg of the food site Blogging and Browning.
- Stick it in a pie! Roll out pastry and put in two salmon fillets. Top with a strongly flavored sauce such as mustard-based one. Fold into a pie and bake. Ta da Salmon en Croute
- Bake salmon fillets and then flake with a fork. Add to a creamy pasta dish such as a carbonara or creamy tagliatelle and broccoli
- Coat fillets with a spicy sauce such as Peri Peri or a homemade chili sauce. Bake in the oven and add to a bed of Udon noodles and carrot shavings for an Asian feel.
- Create a simple zesty lemon dressing to go with a salmon salad. Steam a salmon fillet. Slice and place on top of watercress, spinach, cucumber and grilled asparagus. I would pair this with a side of buttery new potatoes and plenty of cracked black pepper.
Mary West is a natural health enthusiast, as she believes this area can profoundly enhance wellness. She is the creator of a natural healing website where she focuses on solutions to health problems that work without side effects. You can visit her site and learn more at http://www.alternativemedicinetruth.com. Ms. West is also the author of Fight Cancer Through Powerful Natural Strategies.