Could surviving a heart attack — or not — depend on what you had for dinner?
A worldwide study involving over 45,000 people looks like it may have answered that question.
What the researchers found is a way to tilt the odds of survival in your favor that’s amazingly simple — and delicious!
And with close to 800,000 Americans having a first heart attack every year, these are findings that all of us need to know about right now.
We’ve known for some time that omega-3 fatty acids can do wonders for our health.
I’ve told you over the years about how it can stop the pain and flare-ups of RA, ward off age-related memory loss and help keep our hearts healthy in the first place.
But this study looked at omega-3 benefits from another angle.
An international group of researchers compiled data about people who survived a heart attack versus those who didn’t.
And it soon became quite clear that the ones with the highest blood levels of omega-3s had a big advantage — they were able to slash the risk of having a fatal heart attack by 25 percent!
Even those who had more modest amounts of the fatty acid in their body were able to up their chances of survival by 10 percent. Any way you look at it, consuming foods high in omega-3s (more on that in a minute) is good news for our health.
As I said, this wasn’t some tiny study looking at just a few people. Data from well over 45,000 patients spanning 16 countries were involved. And it also wasn’t some meal survey study — you know, where people are asked to recall what they ate for the past month.
Seriously, most people can’t remember what they had for breakfast!
This research involved combing through studies that had taken blood samples, then measuring them for omega-3 levels. And for those who had a heart attack, it didn’t matter if they were young, old, male or female — even if they were diabetic or not. The benefits of omega-3s in reducing heart attack deaths remained the same.
One of the researchers called the study the “most comprehensive picture to date of how omega-3s may influence heart disease.”
So, now that we know just how much omega-3s can do for us, here’s how to translate that into some very real health benefits for you and your family.
First, if you’re already a fish lover, you’re that much farther ahead of the game.
Fatty fish, such as salmon, trout and sardines will give you the biggest amounts of omega-3. And just adding several servings of fish to your weekly menu should be all it takes to up your levels of this fatty acid.
If fish isn’t your favorite dish, there are plenty of other good sources. For example:
- Walnuts go great sprinkled on top of just about everything, from chicken to salads.
- Flax and chia seeds are another great add-on to numerous dishes.
- Grass-fed beef, while not as good a source as fish, can still provide you with a fair amount of omega-3s. Research has found that organic meat can have up to 50 percent more of the fatty acid than conventional varieties.
There are also many high-quality fish-oil supplements to choose from.
And when buying salmon, always go for the wild-caught varieties (canned salmon is typically 100 percent wild-caught fish).
Farmed salmon is fed a terrible diet consisting of cheap vegetable oils and even soy, unlike its wild relatives that eat other fish and krill — a diet naturally high in omega-3.
“Omega-3 fatty acids reduce risk of fatal heart attack” Christopher Wanjek, June 27, 2016, livescience, livescience.com