Eating meat particularly processed meats on a daily basis increases the mortality rate. But, a vegetarian diet could add almost four years to life, claims a study.
The study found that following a vegetarian diet for at least 17 years can extend your life expectancy by 3.6 years.
The physicians from the Mayo Clinic in Arizona conducted the study and investigated more than 1.5 million people. They found that death from all causes was higher for those who regularly eat meat.
‘Limiting the intake of red meat and other processed meats and consuming more vegetables can reduce the risk of mortality.’
Six studies that showed the effects of meat and vegetarian diets on mortality were analyzed. The investigator advised the primary care physicians on whether or not they should recommend patients to eat meat.
Professor Brookshield Laurent, from the department of family medicine and clinical sciences at New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine, said, "This data reinforces what we have known for so long - your diet has great potential to harm or heal."
"This clinical-based evidence can assist physicians in counseling patients about the important role diet plays, leading to improved preventive care, a key consideration in the osteopathic philosophy of medicine."
Processed meat significantly increased the risk of all causes of mortality - and had possible links to cardiovascular disease.
As many as 500,000 people with a very low meat intake were reviewed. The researchers found that people with a very low meat intake had decreased the risk of 25 % to nearly 50% of all-cause mortality compared with those with a high meat intake.
Professor Laurent added, "This clinical-based evidence can assist physicians in counseling patients about the important role diet plays, leading to improved preventive care, a key consideration in the osteopathic philosophy of medicine."
The study is published in the Journal of the American Osteopathic Association.