Want to live longer and keep the grim reaper at bay? A new study suggests dropping meat from your diet.
After following more than 70,000 men and women over six years,
researchers at Loma Linda University in California -- a Seventh-Day
Adventist health institution -- concluded that those who followed
vegetarian lifestyles had reduced rates of mortality.
As part of their religion, Seventh-Day Adventists are encouraged to follow vegetarian diets.
Findings were published online by JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association) Internal Medicine this week with an accompanying commentary of the study.
After categorizing study participants into five dietary groups --
non-vegetarians, semi-vegetarians, pescatarians, lacto-ovo-vegetarians,
and vegans -- authors found that vegetarian groups -- the
lacto-ovo-vegetarians and the vegans -- tended to be older, more highly
educated, and more likely to be married, drink less alcohol, smoke less,
exercise more and be thinner.
Mortality rates were also lower among those who followed meat-free
diets --12 percent lower than their carnivorous counterparts. This was
particularly noteworthy among male participants, who showed a
significant reduction in cardiovascular and ischemic heart
disease-related deaths, researchers point out.
The overall mortality rate was six deaths per 1,000 person years, or 2,570 deaths over a follow-up time of about six years.
It’s the latest study to tout the benefits of a meat-free diet.
Earlier this year, researchers from the University of Oxford found that
the risk of hospitalization or death from heart disease is 32 percent
lower in vegetarians than their counterparts.