Research shows that vegetarians are healthier than meat-lovers even if they are smokers and drinkers.
The scientists at the University of Glasgow in Scotland have examined more than 175,000 British adults, revealing that those with a plant-based diet were healthier than meat-lovers regardless of their age, weight, smoking habits, or how much alcohol they consumed, according to Study Find.
The team factored in 19 different biomarkers in preventing cancer, heart and age-related diseases, as well as other chronic conditions.
One of the reasons why vegetarians, even those who smoke and drink, had better biomarker levels than meat lovers is their cholesterol intake from their diets.
“Vegetarians had ‘significantly lower’ levels of 13 key biomarkers. Those include total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein ‘bad’ cholesterol, and a hormone that encourages the growth and proliferation of cancer cells,” according to Study Find. “Vegetarians also had lower levels of beneficial biomarkers including ‘good’ high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol.”
Participants between the ages of 37 and 73 had their blood and urine reviewed from 177,723 samples, and within five years, their diets did not change.
“Our findings offer real food for thought,” study leader Carlos Celis-Morales wrote in a media release. “As well as not eating red and processed meat which have been linked to heart diseases and some cancers, people who follow a vegetarian diet tend to consume more vegetables, fruits, and nuts which contain more nutrients, fiber, and other potentially beneficial compounds.”
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