For years it seems we've been told to avoid fat in our diets, but a new study suggests that may not be the best thing to do. Swedish researchers tested for levels of different types of fats in over 4,000 Swedish women and men, then followed up with half of the participants for at least 14 and-a-half years. During the study, 265 men and 191 women died, while 294 men and 190 women had cardiovascular events such as heart attacks. Researchers discovered that higher circulating levels of one of the fatty acids found in vegetable oils were linked to a 27 percent reduction in the likelihood of death during the study among the men, but not the women. For both men and women, higher levels of two types of fatty acids found in fish were associated with roughly 20 percent lower odds of death.

Samantha Heller, a nutritionist at New York University who was not involved with the study, says the take home message is: eat more plants and fewer animals. She also says, "There is no one miracle food that will launch us into immortality. The lifestyle as a whole must be considered, including daily physical activity and eating less animal foods like meat, cheese and butter. It is easiest to encourage people to eat a variety of plant foods such as salads, trail mix, roasted vegetables, pasta primavera, almond butter and banana sandwiches, lentil soup, or edamame hummus."

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