Over the past decade, the vegan lifestyle has been seen as a cure-all for a number of ailments. Proponents of the vegetarian approach claim that a vegetarian diet can solve all of the body’s problems. But is this true when it comes to human aging? Do vegetarians live longer than meat eaters?
No diet can promise to stop the aging process, but there are plenty of lifestyle changes that have been more or less proven to help prevent disease and keep you healthy for longer. Vegan protein sources are thought to be better than processed meat alternatives.
What is a vegan diet?
A vegan diet is a diet that excludes foods of animal origin, and excludes meat, dairy, and eggs. While some vegans eat honey, some don’t, believing it to be a by-product of a living organism…
While going vegan is a personal choice, the main tenets surrounding it are said to be living a cruelty-free life. However, this does not mean eating only fruits and vegetables. Basically, you can find any food in vegan form: from sushi to the best vegan protein powder, to burgers.
Do vegans live longer?
Among the many claims about the positive effects of plant-based living on health and nutrition, it is argued that the average vegetarians live longer than normal.
Brooke Jacob, a registered dietitian, said: “Vegan diets are associated with a reduced risk of many chronic diseases related to heart disease, type 2 diabetes, certain types of cancer and obesity. Due to the prevention of potential diseases, it is not surprising that vegans may live longer, as following a vegan diet is associated with a reduced occurrence of chronic disease. However, more research is needed to definitively conclude that vegans live longer than non-vegetarians. “
A study from the American Journal of Internal Medicine JAMA found that vegans had a 9% lower risk of death than omnivores, and another study also found that the risk of death decreased by up to 9% twelfth%. However, a study from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that, although a vegan diet may reduce the incidence of some chronic diseases, it is still inconclusive as to whether this is true and affects mortality or not. This is still unproven.
Why do some vegans live longer?
Anecdotally, many vegans live happily and healthily for much longer than average. Despite following a healthy diet, there are other habits that are more prevalent among health-conscious people, which may be more common in the vegan community. Eating whole plant foods, exercising, and drinking enough water, among other habits are quite common among vegans.
The most important thing to focus on when it comes to nutrition and longevity is eating a balanced diet with enough nutrients, possibly a vegan diet.
“The crux of all diets has to do with the foods you consume” says Jacob. You have to make sure you get a variety of nutrients to meet your body’s needs. Following a vegan diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and nuts will help you maintain optimal nutrition. Also consider adding the appropriate supplements to your diet and to make sure you’re meeting your iron, calcium, vitamin B12 and vitamin D needs…”
Whether veganism is a common denominator for longevity is difficult to say, especially since the studies depend on other life variables. It’s important to note that this approach requires a commitment to a vegan diet over the long term.
“Vegan diets can be sustainable if the person is willing to make a change, and views their diet as a lifestyle change rather than simply a diet” says Jacob.
While there is anecdote that a vegan diet can make you live to a hundred years and beyond, diet, exercise, and personal health are very specific things.
There is some scientific research that suggests that a vegetarian diet and low in animal protein may help prevent disease, but evidence on longevity is lacking. This means that a vegan diet is unlikely to help you live longer.
If you’re considering going vegan for your health or cutting back on animal products, you should talk to a dietitian to find a plan that’s right for your health needs.