Lack of omega-3 fats in the diet is more harmful than smoking

Life expectancy in Japan is five years longer, thanks to its high omega-3 index.

Lack of omega-3 fats in our diets may be more harmful than smoking, says a research study in Canada highlighting the importance of eating fish such as sardines and salmon. A study by Dr. Michael McBurney of the University of Guelph in Canada shows that while smoking takes an average of four years of a person’s life, a lack of so-called “good fats” shortens life by five years.

Ω3 fats are known to improve heart function and reduce blood clots.

A good level of these fats is 8% in red blood cell membranes, 4% to 8% is moderate, and below 4% is dangerously low. Research has shown that while Europe and the United States are struggling to keep the rate just above 4%, in Japan the omega-3 index is over 8%.

“It’s worth noting that Japan has five years longer life expectancy than the United States, where the average is about 5%,” said Dr. McBurney.

“Thus, proper nutrition, which can increase the Omega-3 index, can prolong a person’s life, because along with smoking, there are factors that are easier to control,” added a professor at a Canadian university.

A study published in the prestigious American Journal of Clinical Nutrition argues that measuring fat index can help calculate a person’s lifespan, as well as general potential health risk factors (when omega-3s are low).

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