This one is a hot topic and full of fake claims and bogus studies but do vegans live longer than omnivores?
There have been studies although a lot of them are wildly inconclusive – or the conclusions they have drawn have been quickly pointed out as flawed. You’ll find people aggressively arguing the case on either side but very little of it is actually based on reality or proof – they’re just arguing whatever side fits their own choices.
It’s a very human trait, but it doesn’t actually help us much in this case.
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One other thing that makes health outcomes hard to study is that many people who take up a vegan diet are sick and looking for a new diet to heal them. That brings people into the vegan population who suffer from heart disease, obesity, diabetes or cancer. So much so that a study might find a positive correlation between those conditions and a vegan diet. To the extent that is the case, a study would have to be very well designed to avoid drawing mistaken conclusions if such a correlation appears.
On top of that, there aren’t actually that many vegans when it comes to long-term study. I know you probably hear the word a lot in the news and social media but in terms of long-term data, we won’t have it for a while. Most older vegans haven’t been vegan for all that long. Studies that track their health over time will take decades to play out. In fact, the researchers who begin such studies might not be the same people as the researchers who draw the conclusions at the end.
It’s not that we haven’t tried to tell for sure – it’s that we honeslty don’t know yet.
It’s too early to make the call about vegans living longer, though there is some evidence that a plant-based diet that also restricts oils can prevent or reverse heart disease. And that diet also seems to be protective against some cancers and diabetes. But it takes long-term studies of large numbers of people to track health outcomes, and there just aren’t that many vegans to track. And what vegans there are, are mostly young. It’s how you do after 60 that really tells the tale, and the vegan population will take awhile to get there before any ongoing studies can start drawing conclusions.
What we do know is that vegetarians tend to live longer than meat-eaters. And studies conducted by researchers at Loma Linda Hospital in California track large numbers of Seventh-Day Adventists, who live similar lifestyles with regard to fitness, exercise, not smoking, not drinking alcohol. The two populations studied are alike except that one eats meat and the other is vegetarian.
This answer from Joan summed up all we can really say at the moment. Of course, that doesn’t sell supplements or whatever which is why we have so many claims that vegans or omnivores live longer because XYZ but the science isn’t there. We can’t have a study without data so all we
Do Pescetarians or Vegetarians Live Longer?
As to who lives longer between vegans and vegetarians, that won’t be known for a while. One thing that muddies the water is that among vegetarians, some of them take in large quantities of dairy and egg while others take in barely any.
I expect a whole-food plant-based diet is probably the healthiest way to eat: a vegan diet that’s also low in processed food, oil, alcohol and sugar, and high in whole grains, vegetables, beans, nuts and fruits. The most beneficial things about it might have more to do with the whole-food part than the vegan part. And some vegetarians are closer to that diet than some vegans are. Some meat-eaters are also closer than some vegans, if the meat they eat is only occasional. There’s quite a bit of variety between one vegetarian diet and another, and more variety than you might think between one vegan diet and another.
This is from John’s answer and he’s right – we don’t really know for sure. We can make somewhat educated guesses based on what we do know but anyone giving an answer saying it’s 100% truth is misleading you.
In a while, we will get the data we need to make some actual conclussions but until then we’re all just arguing without actually having any answers.