JAMA: Long term study of Seventh-Day Adventists indicates vegetarians live longer than meat eaters

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Just another reason to rethink our dietary choices. Not only does cutting even a little meat from your diet yield measurable benefits for the environment, turns out those who abjure meat entirely can add longer lives to their professed list of benefits. The presence of a solid Seventh Day Adventist population on Grenada gave us access to vegetarian ingredients we had been prepared to do without. I am certain it pleases them to know their deeply-held convictions yield an important secondary benefit to mankind, let alone one that directly supports one of the key observational tenets of their faith:

The authors tracked 73,308 members of the Seventh-day Adventist Church for almost six years. The church is known for promoting a vegetarian diet, though not all of its followers adhere to that teaching. Researchers found out what type of diet participants ate, then followed up to find out how many of those participants had died and how.

Vegetarians in the study experienced 12% fewer deaths over the period. Dietary choices appeared to play a big role in protecting the participants from heart disease, from which vegetarians were 19% less likely to die than meat-eaters.

There also appeared to be fewer deaths in the vegetarian group from diabetes and kidney failure.

Read more at the WSJ.

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3 thoughts on “JAMA: Long term study of Seventh-Day Adventists indicates vegetarians live longer than meat eaters

    Ani D said:
    June 5, 2013 at 9:39 AM

    Very interesting! I have eliminated red meat from my diet for over a year now and I eat vegetarian 3-4x week. I would go completely vegetarian if it was not such a burden on my family to accommodate, though I am slowly converting them too (at least I’m trying)!

      wes responded:
      June 5, 2013 at 10:57 AM

      Using your position in a dietarily-bifurcated kitchen as ours gives you a unique perspective in deciding which of the vegetarian dishes you prepare for yourself would taste best for your meat eaters. Having access to fresh-fried tofu in our Asian markets makes it easy to substitute something delicious for meat in almost any recipe. We use a lot of seitan and tempeh in place of shredded & ground meats too, almost always to resounding success.

        Ani D said:
        June 5, 2013 at 2:46 PM

        Unfortunately tofu is an inadequate substitution for our family because we avoid soy, but there are plenty of other protein options like beans and lentils!

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