Vegetarians live longer than meat-eaters Kansas City Star Here's what they discovered: The vegetarian (and mostly vegetarian) participants - people included in this group ranged from those who didn't eat any animal-based foods at all to those who...
Here's what they discovered: The vegetarian (and mostly vegetarian) participants - people included in this group ranged from those who didn't eat any animal-based foods at all to those who ate meat only once a week - were 12 percent less likely to die prematurely than those who ate meat regularly. Those in the vegetarian group were 19 percent less likely to die from heart disease, in particular, and were also less likely to die from diabetes and kidney failure. In addition, they tended to be thinner and have lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
Although the researchers were quick to note that the vegetarians were more likely to exercise and less likely to smoke or drink in excess, they attributed their findings largely to the participants' food choices. The researchers weren't completely sure why a plant-based diet has such a protective effect, but they speculated that it's because plant foods tend to be higher in fiber and lower in saturated fat.
And unlike meat, which contains high amounts of cholesterol, sodium, nitrates and other unhealthy ingredients, plant-based foods are cholesterol-free and contain phytochemicals and antioxidants that help combat carcinogens and other harmful substances in the body.