Study: Improper Vegetarian Diet Increases Mortality More Than Moderate Meat Consumption in a Healthy Diet, Adventist Press Service Germany APD, press release

A vegetarian diet rich in highly processed foods may increase mortality risk more than a red meat diet. This is the result of a study recently published by Loma Linda University Health (California/USA). Their study adds to prior knowledge of how ultra-processed foods and red meat affect human health and longevity. The ultra-processed vegetarians are mainly sweets, soft drinks and low-quality meat substitutes.

High consumption of ultra-processed foods has been linked to the development of respiratory, kidney and neurological disorders, in particular, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. Lots of red meat, on the other hand, can increase the risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease. The mortality risks of these diets were compared and evaluated in the study with those of a healthy diet.

One of the largest studies in this field of research.

Compared to previous studies examining the health effects of ultra-processed and animal-based foods, this study was one of the largest, with more than 77,000 participants. In addition, a variety of diets, including vegetarian and non-vegetarian, were considered. In addition, subjects provided information on weight, medical history, alcohol consumption, sleep, exercise, lifestyle, etc. had died. To gain even greater insight, the scientists developed a statistical model that helped them look at each variable independently, specifically including ultra-processed food intake. The results of the study, which is part of the Adventist Health Study-2, were updated in the journal American journal of clinical nutrition released.

Study Results

The results found that people who got 50 percent of their total calories from ultra-processed foods had a 14 percent increase in mortality compared to people who got just 12.5 percent of their total calories. of ultra-processed foods. For comparison: Anyone who eats around 40 grams of red meat a day increases their risk of death by “only” 8 percent, provided they largely avoid ultra-processed foods.

“Unhealthy Vegetarians – Healthy Non-Vegetarians”

“Our study shows that it is possible to be an unhealthy vegetarian or a healthy non-vegetarian,” said Gary Fraser, MBChB, PhD, study co-author and professor in the Loma Linda University School of Medicine and School of Public Health. His conclusion: “It appears that the proportion of ultra-processed vegetarian foods in the diet is actually more important than the proportion of animal-based foods in terms of risk of death.”

“If you’re interested in living longer, you should avoid a diet rich in processed ingredients,” Fraser concludes. “Also, make red meat an exception. As simple as that.”[ii]

Loma Linda University Health

Founded in 1905, Loma Linda University Health, a Seventh-day Adventist institution, includes the eight colleges of Loma Linda University (with more than 4,400 students from more than 80 countries), the six hospitals of LLU Medical Center, and more than 1,000 teaching physicians in Southern California. Loma Linda University Health says it offers more than 100 academic programs and serves more than 40,000 inpatients and 1.5 million outpatients annually.

[1] Orlich MJ, Sabate J, Fraser GE, et al. (2022). Ultra-processed food intake and animal-source food consumption and mortality in the Adventist Health Study-2. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition

[1] This news relates to a press release from Loma Linda University Health, see red-meat


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