The study , published by JAMA Internal Medicine, followed the lives of more than 70,000 Seventh-day Aventists. Researchers examined diets according to five categories: nonvegetarian, semi-vegetarian, pesco-vegetarian (includes seafood), lacto-ovo-vegetarian (includes dairy and egg products) and vegan (excludes all animal products).
There’s been a lot of news in the last few years about the health benefits of a vegetarian to vegan diet. This study is one of many observations that reducing meat consumption or cutting it out all together may improve health and lead to life longevity.
The study stated vegetarian groups tended to be older, more highly educated and more likely to be married, to drink less alcohol, to smoke less, to exercise more and to be thinner.
Within the study, there were 2,570 deaths among the study participants, with vegetarians’ mortality rate being 12% lower than meat eaters. Men vegetarians experienced a significantly lower deaths due to cardiovascular disease.
It’s hard to say that everyone should follow the same diet for the best possible health. We’re all so different. Our bodies, DNA, cultures, and nutritional needs widely vary. I don’t think there’s just one diet for everyone. We all have to experiment and feel empowered to make the best decision for our own individual health. How much meat you consume, which meats, or whether you consume meat at all will depend on how your body processes and responds to meat. It’s important to note that any healthy diet changes should include organic meats that haven’t been treated with chemicals and antibiotics. But outside of that, everyone should decide for themselves what’s best.
I suggest giving meat up altogether and slowly reintroducing it back into your diet. Keep a journal so you can monitor how your body responds as you reintroduce the meat back into your life. Positive responses may mean you need some meat in your diet. Negative responses may mean it’s time to let it go. Figuring out what your body needs to thrive is a process. Everyone’s health journey is unique and individual. Check out my journey on How I Became a Vegan.
Use this study as a guide to more closely monitor your own health and meat consumption. There’s definitely some valuable information in this report.
“These results demonstrate an overall association of vegetarian dietary patterns with lower mortality compared with the nonvegetarian dietary pattern. They also demonstrate some associations with lower mortality of the pesco-vegetarian, vegan and lacto-ovo-vegetarian diets specifically compared with the nonvegetarian diet,” the authors conclude.
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