A new study from researchers at Harvard University has found that eating plant-based fats instead of animal fats may decrease your risk of premature death from heart disease and other causes by about 25%.

The research, presented at a conference for the American Heart Association, found that monounsaturated fats from plants, like nuts, seeds, and avocados, were associated with a lower risk of premature death from causes like heart disease while monounsaturated fats derived from animals, like meat and eggs, were linked with a higher risk.

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The study looked at the diets of 93,000 men and women over 22 years, as well as their health. Those who ate more plant-based fats were found to have a 16% lower risk of premature death, while those who ate a large amount of animal-derived fats had a 21% higher risk.

Researchers found that replacing saturated fats, trans fats, and refined carbohydrates with plant-based fats cut the risk of premature death by up to 15%.

“Recently, dietary recommendations have shifted toward diets including higher quantities of plant-based foods over animal-based foods,” said the study’s co-author, Marta Guasch-Ferre. “Our results are in accordance with these recommendations.”

Guasch-Ferre explained that the sources of plant-based fats also contained heart-healthy polyunsaturated fats along with vitamins and other beneficial nutrients, while many animal fat sources were high in cholesterol and saturated fat, which may explain the study’s findings.

Some of the best plant-based sources of fats include avocado, coconut oil, nuts like walnuts and almonds, and seeds like hemp or chia seeds.

Eat Plant-Based Fats for Your Heart!

Looking for recipes with heart-healthy plant-based fats in them? Try out these recipes from the Food Monster App.

Grilled Avocado With Roasted Tomatoes

This Grilled Avocado With Roasted Tomatoes recipe is a simple, quick option for a heart-healthy side dish. Avocados are a great source of healthy plant-based fats, so eat up!

Walnut Taco Meat

Looking for a healthier way to enjoy a delicious taco? Try out this Walnut Taco Meat on your next taco night for an awesome source of plant-based fat.

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Chia Pudding With Blueberries

Chia seeds aren’t just packed with protein – they’re also great for getting healthy fat into your diet. Try this Chia Pudding With Blueberries for a heart-healthy breakfast!

Looking for more info on healthy plant-based cooking? Download the Food Monster App! With over 10,000 recipes, you’ll have your hands full of delicious, plant-based recipes. It’s available for both Android and iPhone, and can also be found on Instagram and Facebook. Full of allergy-friendly recipes, subscribers gain access to new recipes every day.

Lead Image Source: Femme Run / Flickr

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