Study: Vegetarians live longer as men get best results

Updated 05 June 2013

Study: Vegetarians live longer as men get best results

CALIFORNIA: A vegetarian diet may help people, particularly men, live longer than those who regularly eat meat, according to a study of more than 70,000 Seventh-Day Adventists.
Researchers followed the participants an average of six years. During that period, vegetarians, including those who also added seafood or dairy and egg products to their diet, had an average 12 percent lower chance of dying from any cause than meat-eaters, according to the findings published today in JAMA Internal Medicine. The study also found that male vegetarians were less likely to die from heart disease than non-vegetarians, while there were no similar results in women.
Vegetarian diets have been associated with a reduction in chronic diseases like high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease, the researchers said. The latest findings confirm earlier studies that show the health benefits of eating a vegetarian diet, said Michael Orlich, the lead study author.
“People should take these kinds of results into account as they’re considering dietary choices,” said Orlich, an assistant professor of preventive medicine at Loma Linda University, a Seventh-Day Adventist institution in Loma Linda, California, in a May 31 telephone interview. “Various types of vegetarian diets may be beneficial in reducing the risk of death compared to non-vegetarian diets.”
It’s not clear whether avoiding red meat and processed meats plays a role in boosting life or whether the foods that vegetarians are eating lowers their risk of dying compared with non-vegetarians, Orlich said. He said he is planning a study to help identify which foods are explaining these results.
Those in the study were given a questionnaire to assess their diet. Researchers found that 5,548 people were vegans, 21,177 were vegetarians that ate dairy and egg products, 7,194 were vegetarians that included fish in their diets and 4,031 were semi-vegetarian, which includes eating meat infrequently. The rest were meat eaters.


5 reasons to add blueberries to your diet

Updated 31 May 2020

5 reasons to add blueberries to your diet

DUBAI: Devinder Bains, personal trainer and nutrition coach at Fit Squad DXB, shares her expert advice on the superfoods that will help you lead a longer and healthier life.

It’s hard to believe that this unassuming little berry, easily available at most food stores, is one of the healthiest things you could possibly eat. Blueberries can be enjoyed on their own, in breakfast bowls, smoothies, muffins and even as garnish on your pancakes and waffles. Here are five ways they can improve your health.

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DNA health

We need antioxidants to protect our cells from damage, and blueberries contain more antioxidants than almost any other food. The job of antioxidants is to combat free radicals in the body, which are increased by factors such as air pollution, cigarette smoke, alcohol intake, poor diet, tissue damage, infections and excessive sunbathing. Too many free radicals can lead to damaged DNA, increasing the risk of many cancers and diseases.

Bone health

Blueberries are a good source of vitamin K, which works with calcium to build strong bones. A deficiency in the vitamin can often be a sign of osteoporosis. Vitamin K is also essential in the process of blood clotting and contributes to good heart health.

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Blood pressure and heart disease

The antioxidants in blueberries can also help to lower bad cholesterol, in turn making the heart’s job a little easier and lowering blood pressure. Observational studies have shown that proper intake of anthocyanins (the main antioxidants in blueberries) could reduce the risk of heart attacks by 32 percent.

Mental ageing

The oxidative stress that free radicals cause can also affect the brain and accelerate its ageing process. Studies have shown that eating blueberries can help improve brain function in older individuals with mild cognitive impairments and can also delay mental ageing by over two years.

Weight loss

Blueberries have just 40 calories per half a cup. They are about 85 percent water and high in fiber and are thus great for keeping you full and staving off hunger. Studies have also shown that the anthocyanin antioxidants present in blueberries improve insulin sensitivity in obese patients and can lower the risk of Type 2 diabetes.