Fruit plate

If Meatless Mondays have been working for you—there may be some good reasons to extend your vegetarian meals through the rest of the week: new research shows vegetarians significantly outlive meat-eaters.

The research, conducted by Loma Linda University, was recently presented at the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ Food & Nutrition Conference and Expo, and included data collected from more than 96,000 Canadians and Americans including Seventh-day Adventists, who are known to observe a vegetarian diet.

Among the preliminary findings of the ongoing research was the noticeably increased lifespan for vegetarians. Men observing a vegetarian diet reportedly outlived meat-eating men by as much as 9.5 years and women lived an additional 6.1 years. The average vegetarian Adventist man were noted to have a lifespan of 83.3 years and women, 85.7.

Additionally, the study found vegetarians generally weighed close to 30 pounds less than meat-eaters, were five units lighter on the body-mass index scale, were less resistant to insulin, ate healthier foods in general, exercised more, and were less likely to smoke cigarettes than their meat-eating counterparts. Vegans and vegetarians were also shown to have fewer cases of high blood pressure than meat-eaters as well.

The study supports previous findings including Dr. T. Colin Campbell’s extensive research formally known as The China Study, which found vegetarians—or individuals who consumed minimal amounts of animal products—were more likely to avoid Western diseases such as obesity, diabetes, heart disease, stroke and even certain types of cancer than those who ate meat on a more regular basis.

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Image: SweetOnVeg