Researchers at Loma Linda University in California have been conducting a study to determine whether vegetarians and vegans live longer than the rest of the population, and so far, the answer seems to be a resounding “Yes!”
Although the research—which originally began in 1958 and includes various studies on Seventh-day Adventists, who typically eat a plant-based diet as part of their religious beliefs—is only halfway finished, the results suggest that, on average, vegetarian men and women live 9.5 and 6.1 years longer, respectively, than their meat-eating counterparts.
The study also indicates that, in general, vegans are 30 pounds leaner—and five units lighter in terms of body mass index—and that vegetarians and vegans are less insulin resistant than meat-eaters.
Although many Seventh-day Adventists don’t drink, smoke, or consume caffeine, it’s obvious from the initial results that their food choices also play a role in their life expectancy—and their quality of life. Many other scientific studies have shown that vegans are less likely to suffer from chronic illnesses, so it shouldn’t come as any surprise that vegans tend to live longer. A 2012 Harvard School of Public Health study, for example, found that people who eat red and processed meats are much more likely to die from heart disease, diabetes, or cancer. Study participants who ate nuts or other plant-based foods instead of meat had a significantly lower risk of dying young.
Think about it: Vegan foods are cholesterol-free, generally low in saturated fat, and high in fiber, complex carbohydrates, and other essential nutrients. They’re often packed with protein and cancer-fighting phytochemicals, and vegans can easily obtain all the vitamins (including vitamins B12 and D) and minerals (including calcium and iron) that they need.
Meat, eggs, and dairy products, on the other hand, are high in artery-clogging cholesterol, saturated fat, and calories. They don’t contain fiber or various vitamins, and the hormones, toxins, and antibiotics that are often found in animal-based food have been linked to a litany of health problems.
Who do you think will have a better chance of living longer?
The vegans, of course! And the more people there are who eat vegan foods, the fewer animals there will be who are raised in filthy, crowded factory farms and killed in terrifying, blood-soaked slaughterhouses. It’s a win-win situation.