Veggies or No Veggies?

Ok, I know we have all heard too many conflicting studies on whether a vegetarian diet is truly healthier or not.  Well, here is the latest one, published earlier this month by Reurters: “People who limit how much meat they eat and stick to mostly fruits and vegetables are less likely to die over any particular period of time.”

For this study, Dr. Michael Orlich, the study’s lead author from Loma Linda University in California, and “his colleagues used data from 73,308 people recruited at U.S. and Canadian Seventh-day Adventist churches between 2002 and 2007.  At the start of the study, the participants were asked about their eating habits and were separated into categories based on how often they ate dairy, eggs, fish and meat.  Overall, 8 percent were vegans who didn’t eat any animal products while 29 percent were lacto-ovo-vegetarians who didn’t eat fish or meat but did eat dairy and egg products. Another 15 percent occasionally ate meat, including fish.  The researchers then used a national database to see how many of the participants died by December 31, 2009. Overall, they found about seven people died of any cause per 1,000 meat eaters over a year. That compared to about five or six deaths per 1,000 vegetarians every year.  Men seemed to benefit the most from a plant-based diet.”

Even with these marginally better results, Dr. Orlich “cautioned, however, that they can’t say the participants’ plant-based diets prevented their deaths, because there may be other unmeasured differences between the groups. For example, Alice Lichtenstein, director of the Cardiovascular Nutrition Laboratory at Tufts University in Boston, said the participants who were vegetarians were healthier overall.”

“‘It’s important to note that the vegetarians in this study were more highly educated, less likely to smoke, exercised more and were thinner,’ Lichtenstein, who was not involved with the new study, told Reuters Health.  Those traits have all been tied to better overall health in the past.”

So, does this convince you to switch you a vegetarian diet?

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