Do Vegetarians Live Longer?

Vegetarianism has gained a lot of notice lately due to a couple of studies that suggest people who follow a vegetarian lifestyle have greater longevity. Though neither study reached a definitive answer to the question, “Do vegetarians live longer?” they have definitely given us all something to chew on. The results of the two studies definitely show some sort of correlation between vegetarian or vegan lifestyles and length of life, but the groups studied were so specific, it’s hard to say anything conclusively.

The first study focused on a one-time survey of more than 70,000 Seventh-day Adventists. They were chosen as the focus of the study because their lifestyle encourages healthful diets, as well as abstention from alcohol, caffeine and tobacco. Not everyone studied was a vegetarian or vegan, but the Seventh-day Adventists are taught that a meatless diet is the ideal. Researchers found that men who ate vegetarian diets were less likely to die from heart disease or other heart-related conditions. However, there was not a similar result in women who followed a vegetarian lifestyle.

In the second study, the focus wasn’t primarily on vegetarians, but on overall fruit and vegetable consumption. More than 71,000 Swedes had their eating habits studied for 13 years. It was found that people who said they never ate fruits and vegetables died, on average, three years sooner than those who frequently ate foods like apples, carrots and tomatoes. While this study was not perfect, it did seem to indicate that consuming more fruits and vegetables, and more vegetables than fruits, may help people live a longer life.

So what does that mean for you? It can’t be said with all certainty that eating more vegetables, or even becoming a vegetarian or vegan, will help you live longer. However, studies are showing that such lifestyles may help you live a healthier life. For most participants in both studies, the higher the fruit and vegetable consumption, the healthier habits that person had. Maybe those who choose a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle are simply more health conscious. Only further study will tell.



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Carrie-Anne Brown

thanks for sharing :)

Heidi Aubrey
Heidi Aubrey3 years ago

The only reason I can see to choose a Vegan or Vegetarian diet is ethical. Now that grown-in-a-lab meat is being developed(chicken, beef and porke-which I would happily eat), there will be no reason to choose these diets unless, of course, you simply like the food better.

Everyone knows to consume more fruits and vegetables and go some days meatless during the week.

Rosemary H.
Rosemary H.3 years ago

I've just checked. I described my problems with many vegetables under 'Why Meat Causes Inflammation' I'd love answers. Please!

Rosemary H.
Rosemary H.3 years ago

We are always being told in the UK to eat our 5 a day. Five portions of fruit or veggies, that is. I struggle to meet this. I've posted the reasons for this struggle as a comment on an article about meat and inflammation. (I have to add that there are 2 such articles and I posted a different set of questions under the other one...)

In both cases I asked vegans and vegetarians for answers or comments, but so far no-one has replied. Please!!!

Natasha Salgado
natasha salgado3 years ago

I'm a Vegetarian...but don't think i want to live past 80. Thanks

Genoveva M.
Genoveva M M.3 years ago

Great article thanks.

Nicole Bergeron
Nicole Bergeron3 years ago

As for the iron, not a surprise. Heme Iron is easier to absorb by the small intestine, but is harder for the body to control the intake amount, so it often is over done, while non-Heme Iron is harder to absorb by the small intestine but is easier for the body to control the intake amount. But each person does absorb each Iron source differently.

Nicole Bergeron
Nicole Bergeron3 years ago

Satya says : "I personally feel that I am an expert in this as I have my own body for the results" Your body is different than mine, Marilyns, my mother's, my brothers, and everyone elses. To say that you are "an expert" just because it works for you can open you up to lawsuits, attacks, ect... if someone follows your advice and gets sick.

As for the whole advertising beans as a "miracle" protein source is dangerous, since more and more people are either a) discovering that they are allergic, or b)are allergic to it since they were born.

Beans fall into two sections Lentils and Legumes, and those that are allergic to one section is often allergic to the other, if allergic to soy one has a VERY high chance of being allergic to all the legumes you've listed and more (though kudos for you for knowing chickpeas where a legume, there are those that don't), because it's the protein that is commonly the allergen, and the protein marker that is the trigger is common in all of the legumes and lentils.

Such as me, allergic to both, no matter how it is cooked, even raw beans bought and then processed at home, would kill me.

Glad it worked for you, BUT you really shouldn't call yourself an expert, just because it worked for you, since everyone's body is different.

3 years ago

It's an impossible diet for people who can't eat beans, nuts and seeds.

Satya B.
Satya B.3 years ago

The key to beans is that they should be soaked over night and rinse at least three timesThen its best to cook them in a pressure cooker with hot water, we cook 2 types using 2 smaller stainless steel containers in the pressure cooker and it cooks within 30-45 mins under a couple of wistles. Now in terms of grains there is white rice, basmati rice, black glutinious rice, brown rice, quineo, samolina, millets. Now with veggies today for breakfast I had black glutinious rice with a gravy of red dhall, hubert pumpkin, tomatoes and potatoe with steams veggies of peas, brocoli, mushrooms and cauliflower. And an Avocado. I am having a banana goose berry almond nut bread made from cake and rye flour for lunch topped with tahini. Now with cooking there are spices which add other minerals and benefits: huldi/tumeric, ginger, musturd seeds, fenugreek seeds. I also have many seeds sunflower, pumpkin, sesame and flax seeds. So in total I could be eating 50-60 varieties of plant based products a day. I dont need to count them.