A study finds out that not having any kind of animal products may lower the death rates. The study, published in the JAMA Internal Medicine Journal, reignites the debate around increasingly popular vegan diets amid conflicting medical advice and evidence over their impact of proponents’ health, reports the Independent. The research was undertaken by scientists at Massachusetts General Hospital, who monitored health and diet records of more than 130,000 people over the course of thirty years.
They found that every three percent increase in calories from plant protein was found to reduce risk of death by 10 percent. The figure rises to 12 percent for risk of dying from heart disease. By contrast, raising the share of animal protein in one’s diet by 10 percent led to a two percent higher risk of death from all causes. This increased to an eight percent higher chance of dying from heart disease. Substituting eggs for plant protein led to a 19 percent reduction in death risk and eliminating unprocessed red meat saw a drop of 12 percent.
As would be expected, the risk was found to be most pronounced among people who also engaged in other unhealthy activities, including having a history of smoking, drinking heavily or being obese. However, caution should be exercised when interpreting the results, as other more complex social and environment factors could affect the results rather than being solely related to diet.
Lead scientist Mingyang Song said, ‘Overall, our findings support the importance of the sources of dietary protein for long-term health outcomes. While previous studies have primarily focused on the overall amount of protein intake – which is important – from a broad dietary perspective, the particular foods people consume to get protein are equally important.”
“Our findings suggest people should consider eating more plant proteins than animal proteins, and when they do choose among sources of animal protein, fish and chicken are probably better choices,” he added.