There is even more evidence of the health benefits of these polyunsaturated fats – and they don’t necessarily have to come from fish.

Since the late 1970s, hundreds of studies have confirmed a link between dietary omega-3s and lower rates of heart attacks and related problems. The best-known omega-3 fatty acids, which are mainly found in fatty fish such as salmon, herring and mackerel, are eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).

However, a lesser-known form of these unique fats, alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), is only found in plants and is actually quite common in some American diets (see “Omega-3 Fats: The Best Plant Sources”). A new study suggests that higher blood levels of fish and plant-based omega-3 fatty acids help lower the likelihood of a poor prognosis in the years following a heart attack.

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