Health benefits of veganism

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I am on my way to veganism, via vegetarian. For all the possible reasons, including ethical ones.

But today I´ve been reading various convincing reports and studies that suggest veganism, at best, brings only a marginal life expectancy benefit. This is a bit disappointing! Specially disappointing as the marginal life expectancy improvement is probably due to vegans being more concerned with their health and life-style in general than meat eaters.

Any opinions opn this??
 

Veganite

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Welcome to the forum, Robert.

Several of the popular vegan documentaries I've watched would say otherwise. Vegans seem to statistically live longer than vegetarians, according to their studies. I am referring to docs like Forks over Knives, Eating You Alive, What The health, etc. Whether or not that is a marginal difference would depend of the diet itself.

The fact that vegetarians and vegans, alike, can eat unhealthy diets full of processed vegan foods, oils, and other saturated fats, would suggest the statistic of longevity is somewhat subjective, and dependent on diet specifics....not to mention genetics can play a huge role. For example, my dad lived to 94 on mainly a pescatorian diet, and 2-3 packs of cigarettes a day. Go figure. He drank a fair bit as well.

If you need convincing about the dangers of dairy and eggs in your diet, I suggest browsing through NutritionFacts.org for info on them, specifically. This information alone was enough for me to go vegan as apposed to vegetarian, but the ethical aspect of it is overwhelming as well, in my humble opinion.

If you do want more convincing of the ethical aspect of veganism, maybe try watching "Earthlings" on YouTube. It is enlightening, to say the least.

One of my best friends is a vegetarian, as well as my nephew and his wife. They would debate this until they're blue in the face, on why they should continue eating dairy and eggs. If I provide them a study on the hazards, they will throw one back at me on the alleged benefits. Weeding through all the information out there can definitely be a challenge.

By the way, if you haven't watched these above mentioned documentaries, I highly suggest you do. They are well researched and backed up with research studies and science. I'm not sure where you were reading your "convincing reports" but just remember this, the truth is out there...You just need to weed through all the misinformation to find it. I'm not saying your sources were bad, but the truth is there is way more misinformation out there than truth. We've been fooled by the agriculture industry and TV for too long.
 
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Many thanks for your long reply!

I found this a few days ago, in the National Post - April 2017:

" People go vegetarian for lots of reasons, says the University of Alberta’s Timothy Caulfield: Animal welfare. Personal branding. The “health halo.”

It just won’t prolong their life, suggests a large new study."

It´s a confusing topic, with various studies pointing in opposite directions. Also, it´s not always easy to pinpoint exactly why people with longer life-spans live longer. Diet? Or other factors? The famous long-life adventists, say, are also non-smokers and non-drinkers. They probably have early nights - every night. People on a vegan or vegetarian diet are often more health-conscious. Do they generally do more exercise? Also, the differences in life-spans are usually small - either way.

Still, I´m sticking with my new veggie diet. I think it´s good for a lot of reasons. Particularly animal welfare. (Most of the animals that are presently eaten would not have existed were it not for the fact that they end up getting eaten. That is another aspect to think about!)

(I´m looking forward to a study pointing to a correlation between sunshine and life-expectancy. I live on the Mediterranean and for a while I was attracted to their famous diet. Till I realised that in many respects it´s a myth. Also, Spain is the top Med country for life-expectancy. They are fourth. Tied with Australia, whose diet is as unhealthy as the UK´s! )