You're not the only one. I have relatives in California who are Seventh-Day Adventists. They avoid meat for religious reasons. Studies have shown that the members of their church are much heathier than the population at large.
Originally Posted by rockmom
Adventist Mortality Study
The first major study of Adventists begun in 1960, has become known as the Adventist Mortality Study. Consisting of 22,940 California Adventists, it entailed an intensive 5-year follow-up and a more informal 25-year follow-up.
Specifically, comparing death rates of Adventist compared to other Californians:
"...[The] Adventist Mortality Study (1960–1965) did indicate that Adventist men lived 6.2 years longer than non-Adventist men in the concurrent American Cancer Society
Study and Adventist women had a 3.7-year advantage over their counterparts. These statistics were based on life table analyses."
- Death rates from all cancers was 60% lower for Adventist men and 76% lower for Adventist women
- Lung cancer 21% lower
- Colorectal cancer 62% lower
- Breast cancer 85% lower
- Coronary heart disease 66% lower for Adventist men, 98% lower for Adventist women
Adventist Health Study 1 (AHS-1)
An additional study (1974–1988) involved approximately 34,000 Californian Adventists over 25 years of age. Unlike the mortality study, the purpose was to find out which components of the Adventist lifestyle give protection against disease.
The data from the study have been studied for more than a decade and the findings are numerous – linking diet to cancer and coronary heart disease.
- On average Adventist men live 7.3 years longer and Adventist women live 4.4 years longer than other Californians.
- Five simple health behaviors promoted by the Seventh-day Adventist Church for more than 100 years (not smoking, eating a plant based diet, eating nuts several times per week, regular exercise and maintaining normal body weight) increase life span up to 10 years.
- Increasing consumption of red and white meat was associated with an increase of colon cancer.
- Eating legumes was protective for colon cancer.
- Eating nuts several times a week reduces the risk of heart attack by up to 50%.
- Eating whole meal bread instead of white bread reduced non-fatal heart attack risk by 45%.
- Drinking 5 or more glasses of water a day may reduce heart disease by 50%.
- Men who had a high consumption of tomatoes reduced their risk of prostate cancer by 40%.
- Drinking soy milk more than once daily may reduce prostate cancer by 70%.