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Monday, August 20, 2018


 by: John Phillip




Extensive research over the past decade continues to show a distinct risk reduction for those following a predominately vegetarian-style diet. In prior research works, scientists have documented the effect of eating a vegetarian diet with a significant reduction in the risk of developing many chronic diseases including hypertension, metabolic syndrome, diabetes and ischemic heart disease. 

When polled, only 5 percent of those responding indicate that they currently follow vegetarian or Mediterranean-style dietary guidelines.

A research team from the University of California at Loma Linda, reporting the results of a study in the journal, JAMA Internal Medicine, has found that in a new study of more than 70,000 people, vegetarian diets are shown to lower death rates when compared to meat-eaters.

 The lead study author, Dr. Michael Orlich commented "I think this adds to the evidence showing the possible beneficial effect of vegetarian diets in the prevention of chronic diseases and the improvement of longevity."

Limiting dietary meat sources lowers the risk of developing heart disease and cancer.

The study examined all-cause and cause-specific mortality in a group of 73,308 men and women and reviewed participant diets using a questionnaire that categorized study participants into five groups: 

  • Non-vegetarian

  •  semi-vegetarian

  • pesco-vegetarian (includes seafood)

  • lacto-ovo-vegetarian (includes dairy and egg products) 

  • vegan (excludes all animal products). 

Researchers noted that vegetarians tend to be older, more educated and likely to be married. Further, this group tends to be thinner, drink less alcohol, smoke less and exercise more.

Over the study period of six years, 2,570 participants died. When the data was parsed, seven out of every 1,000 non-vegetarians died each year compared to five vegetarians per 1,000 participants. 

That amounted to a 12 percent lower chance of dying for vegetarians during the study period. 

The results were more pronounced in male subjects than in women, as vegetarian men had lower reductions in heart disease mortality and death from heart disease. Women however did not have any significant risk reductions in these categories.

Team leaders concluded "Although nutrition authorities may disagree about the optimal balance of macronutrients in an ideal diet, virtually all agree that diets should limit added sugars and sugary drinks, refined grains, and large amounts of saturated and trans fats." 

The debate regarding the importance of meat consumption will continue, as some nutritionists argue that small amounts of meat are necessary for optimal health as they cite our Paleolithic dietary roots.


A number of studies highlight the avoidance of processed meats and high temperature cooking methods to avoid heart disease and cancer risk. There can be little doubt that limiting meat, especially red meat, while substituting vegetables, nuts, seeds and legumes provides the basis for disease prevention and longevity.

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Sources for this article include:


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