What's the healthiest human diet? With so many trending options -
vegetarian, pescotarian, semi-vegetarian, lacto-ovo-vegetarian, vegan,
vegan before six - it's hard to decide what's best for our bodies.
Recently, though, we were given a little insight. According to a recent
study, which looked at a range of different diets, decreasing meat
consumption means improving health.
Conducted at Loma Linda University in California and led by Michael J.
Orlich, MD, the medical study analyzed over 70,000 Seventh-day
Adventists, who practice vegetarianism. The study found that vegetarians
demonstrated a reduced risk of diseases such as heart disease and
diabetes. With that, vegetarians were determined twelve percent less
likely to die from all-cause mortality than were meat-eaters.
Because researchers defined the vegetarian category as having four
dietary patterns - including those who eat fish and those who eat meat
no more than once a week - the results suggest that there is a growing
accessibility to a vegetarian lifestyle, in addition to the increased
benefits of having one.
However, according to Robert B. Baron, MD, MS, who responded to the
research in JAMA Internal Medicine, it is important to note the nature
of the study and remember that "like all observational studies, this one
provides associations, not cause-and-effect evidence." While the study
concluded that vegetarians are less likely to develop certain diseases,
it did not determine whether this pattern is caused by their specific
diet or their overall lifestyle.
The bottom line is, they're doing something right, and a few less hamburgers never hurt anyone, anyways.