Vegetarians have more health benefits than meat eaters: Study

Loma Linda University study suggests that being vegetarian may give you more health benefits than eating meat. The kinds of foods frequently consumed in vegetarian diets can reduce a person's risk for diseases, such as cancer, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes, control body mass index and waist size, and boost brain health, the study also revealed.

Loma Linda University in California has tracked tens of thousands of Seventh-day Adventists since 1958. According to the Huffington Post, their series of studies in the '70s and '80s were the first to show that vegetarians live longer than meat eaters.

Loma Linda received a grant from the National Institutes of Health in 2002 to continue the research on Seventh-day Adventists as Adventist Health Study 2.

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The study, which is midway to completion and includes 96,000 people from the United States and Canada, presents findings just as dramatic, principal investigator Gary E. Fraser, MD, PhD, said at the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics' 2012 Food 'n' Nutrition Conference and Expo, reported DNA.

Fraser explained that vegetarian men live to an average of 83.3 years and vegetarian women 85.7 years 9.5 and 6.1 years, respectively, longer than other Californians.

The Adventist Health Study 2 also found that compared to meat eaters vegans are, on average, 30 pounds lighter, five units lighter on the BMI scale, less insulin resistant than meat eaters.

Numerous factors are boosting the overall health of these participants was suggested by the fact that lean people are also more likely to exercise regularly, eat plants and avoid cigarettes than overweight people. Pesco-vegetarians and semi-vegetarians have 'intermediate protection' against lifestyle diseases. They limit animal products, but still eat meat once a week or so.

The most shocking finding in the study is that an African-American's life span is cut by 6.2% due to obesity. The study population was 25% African-American and half vegetarian.

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