It Pays to Eat Those Vegetables

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It pays to eat those vegetables.

That's the conclusion of a study published in the current edition of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Researchers at California's Loma Linda University, a Seventh-Day Adventist institution, analyzed the diets of 73,308 Seventh-Day Adventists and concluded that vegetarians, on average, had a 12 percent lower risk of dying over the study period compared with meat eaters.

In the largest study ever of its kind, the researchers compared meat eaters to four types of vegetarians. The longest-lived group were those who ate mostly fruits, vegetables and fish, but rarely consume meat. That group had a 19 percent lower mortality risk.

Coincidentally, another new study, this one by researchers at Johns Hopkins University and published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, found that combining a Mediterranean diet emphasizing fruits, nuts, vegetables and fish, along with regular exercise, smoking avoidance and weight maintenance, had an 80 percent lower death rate over 7.6 years when compared with those who had none of those behaviors.