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Low Meat or No Meat?

Flexitarians versus vegetarians: who lives longer?

November 4, 2009 |
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What about vegetarians, though? Eating meat shortens our life, but who lives longer? Those eating low meat, or those eating no meat? Three choices: low meat, no meat, or they both live the same. Do you think eating a little meat will help you live longer? Is it like smoking—there’s no such thing as a safe level of meat consumption? Or do you think the latest science says no difference—that you appear to get the same longevity benefit from cutting down on meat as you get from cutting it out?
If you said low meat, you’re wrong. If you said either no meat, or no difference, you’re right, and that’s because it depends on whether you’re talking about studies on American vegetarians or British vegetarians. American vegetarians live longer than healthy meateaters, but British vegetarians don’t.
Why do British vegetarians lose their advantage? Lots of theories, but my guess is that it’s because they appear less likely to supplement their diet with vitamin B12 fortified foods or supplements.

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by veganmontreal.

To help out on the site please email volunteer@nutritionfacts.org

Dr. Michael Greger

Doctor's Note

Please feel free to post any ask-the-doctor type questions here in the comments section and I’d be happy to try to answer them. And check out theother videos on vegetarians and flexitarians. Also, there are 1,449 other subjectscovered in the rest of my videos--please feel free to explore them as well!

For some context, please check out my associated blog posts: Eating To Extend Our Lifespan and  Poultry Paunch: Meat & Weight Gain.

  • http://nutritionfacts.org/members/mgreger/ Michael Greger M.D.

    Please feel free to post any ask-the-doctor type questions here in the comments section and I’d be happy to try to answer them. And check out the other videos on vegetarians and flexitarians. Also, there are 1,449 other subjects covered in the rest of my videos–please feel free to explore them as well!

  • Lucille Petrich

    Are there any particular vegetables or fruits which help fight ovarian cancer?

    • Jddh

      Hello L. Petrich;
      Yes, there are many. Garlic, asparagus ( for a glutathione detox boost), cabbage, onions, made up in a home made broth with only a pinch, if any , sea salt.  Beets (raw juiced).
      6 Organic carrots, 2 oranges and 2 organic beets juiced daily.Fresh organic  Cucumbers with skins on. Mangos with skins ON.  Broccoli STEMS. 

      Phytochemicals are the key to unlock our cellular receptors. the ones that unlock the phase 2 enzyme, which is the primary detox process of the human body undertaken by the liver. It is the phase 2 enzyme that we activate for reversal of cancer. The very best foods we can use to unlock this are in the parts of our food that we discard too often. The skins, seeds, and stems. Many of the seeds, such as apple, avocado, etc can be ground in the form of a smoothie with the fruit. In a pineapple, add the stem, rip off the pineapple leaves and use the stem parts under the leaves….loaded in phytochemicals. The spark plug to activate our bodies into action.

      Carrots help rid the body of tumors and strengthen the immune system. Falcarinol slows the growth of cancer cells. Falcarinol is a NATURAL pesticide in a carrot, it protects the roots from fungal diseases while it grows.
      Carotenoid-rich fruits and vegetables eaten every day is very important. Foods such as Carrots,oranges, broccoli, romaine lettuce and spinach, with carrots being your best choice. Fresh is best, but steamed lightly will only result in about a 30% loss of falcarinol and if boiled about a 70% loss.
      warmest regards
      Janet H

  • Tblakeslee

    Another possible explanation is the quality of meat in the US vs UK. Hormones, antibiotics and corn finishing could make US meat less healthy.

  • matan

    Is there a connection between the amount of meat you eat to the harms on the body, or like the IGF-1 a few “slips” harm the body like consistent meat consumption? (in most cases)

  • Skeptic

    Illogical statement. Eating a less diverse diet of high nutrient foods, is far more nutritious than a very diverse diet of nutrient poor foods. Also, eating a large variety of metal filings and pesticides is far less nutritious than eating a lot of kale.