Eat Less Meat and Live Longer

A new study has been published by JAMA finding an association between eating plant protein instead of animal protein and living longer.  After studying a total of 237,036 men and 179,068 women over 16 years and almost 78,000 deaths, they found that consuming more plant protein was significantly associated with lower overall mortality as well as lower mortality from cardiovascular disease.

By replacing as little as 3% of your protein with plant-based sources instead of animal protein, overall mortality was reduced by 10% and mortality from cardiovascular disease was 11 – 12% lower.  Even more, they concluded that by substituting plant protein for eggs, men and women had a 24% and 21% lower risk of overall mortality, while substituting plant protein for red meat resulted in a 13% and 15% lower  mortality risk for men and women.

If you decide to go plant based, it doesn’t have to be all at once.  You can substitute plant-based proteins in one meal for one day of the week, gradually increasing the number of meals when you’re ready.  What you want to do is increase your intake of whole, plant foods as close to their natural state as possible and reduce your intake of meat and other animal products, especially processed meats like hot dogs and bacon.  Some of the best plant-based proteins include:

Seitan, a wheat-based meat substitute

Tofu and tempeh, which are soy-based, as well as edamame

Lentils, chickpeas, green peas, and beans of all types

Quinoa and amaranth

Flaxseeds, hempseeds, and chia seeds

Nuts and nut butters

Nutritional yeast

Oatmeal

Broccoli, kale, spinach, Brussels sprouts

By upping your intake of plants, you not only increase your chances of living longer, you’ll also likely do it in better health.

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