Vegans have a lower risk of all-cause mortality and live longer, as shown by studies comparing mortality rates among vegans, vegetarians, and meat eaters.
Residents of Okinawa, Japan—home to a Blue Zone where people live longer and are healthier on average than anywhere else—live off plant-based diets.
The results of a recent study in the journal PLOS Medicine found that people who eat lots of fruits and vegetables tend to live 10 years longer than those who don’t.
Norwegian researchers sought to better understand how sustained differences in diet affect life expectancy, given that dietary risk factors are estimated to cause 11 million deaths and 255 million disability-adjusted life years annually.
Using data from the Global Burden of Disease (GBD) study, which categorizes disease mortality rates by individual foods, researchers created a computer model to determine how long people could live if they ate an “optimal” diet instead of their typical Western one.
Researchers defined a plant-based diet as one that “has a substantially higher intake of whole grains, legumes, fish and fruits while reducing red and processed meats—and including nuts.”