Thank you, Alice, for pointing out at least two factors that may render many opinions on the vegan-vs.-omnivore longevity debate moot: first, none of the studies cited to support either side adequately deals with confounding (non-dietary) factors; and second, some of these confounding factors may ultimately have more to do with longevity than any specific dietary regimen.
Alice, I just read this article. I have been a vegetarian my whole life, I breastfed without issue, I am on the low side of iron but quite strong and healthy in middle age. Hemp hearts have a considerable amount of iron, blackstrap molasses as well, I’ve never had an issue with chia seeds, egg yolks have iron if you can eat custard or flan. My husband is an omnivore, more meat than veggies, and has had to give blood at least once a year to release some iron from his system. We are all built differently. Try to feel well and take care of yourself and your little ones.
Thankfully, we have a study that did just that. It compared the mortality of people who shopped in health food stores (both vegetarians and omnivores) to people in the general population. This was a clever study design. People who shop in health food stores are more likely to be health conscious, regardless of whether they eat meat, which reduces the likelihood that the study results will be thrown off by the “healthy user bias”. What did the researchers find? Both vegetarians and omnivores in the health food store group lived longer than people in the general population—not surprising given their higher level of health consciousness—but there was no survival difference between vegetarians or omnivores. Nor was there any difference in rates of heart disease or stroke between the two groups. () In other words, omnivores who are health conscious live just as long as vegetarians that are health conscious.
Other studies support the findings of the Adventist Health Study-2 population. A 74-week study on type 2 diabetes patients found that a low-fat vegan diet improved glycemia and plasma lipids significantly more than did a conventional diabetes diet [,]. A study of 23 overweight hyperlipidemic men and postmenopausal women who followed either a low-carbohydrate vegan diet or a high-carbohydrate lacto-ovo vegetarian diet for 7 months found that the vegan diet resulted in greater weight loss and decreases in LDL-cholesterol and triglycerides, and improved heart disease risk factors . Thus in studies where vegans are compared to not only omnivores but to other vegetarians as well, a pattern of protective health benefits is emerging.
Omnivores vs. Herbivores: How Meat Consumption …
Vegetarian Diets vs. Nonvegetarian Diets
People are constantly wondering if a vegetarian diet is just as healthy as a diet that includes animal product. The answer is yes. In fact, humans could go their whole life without eating meat and still not be deficient in their nutrients. As long as a person keeps a balanced diet of fruits, vegetables, and grains, they could end up healthier than the more common omnivorous person. In fact, vegetarians usually live longer than nonvegetarians. It's not that hard to figure out why. Did you know that there's more bacteria on a piece of store bought chicken than a toilet seat?
7/2/2015 · Vegetarian vs
Vegetable foods are very healthy to the entire body, and especially the heart. Does the omnivorism affect the heart? This is a contentious topic that has been the subject matter of debate for several decades, but doctors and scientists came to agree that diets could cause or prevent heart disease. This view is also held by the seventh day Adventist religious group, who are massive flowers of vegetarian practices worldwide. The religious group holds the following precepts on the health benefits of a vegetarian lifestyle. They assert that Adventist omnivore men who are fifty five years and above are twice more likely to die of a heart ailment than vegetarian Adventists. Men aged 40 to 54 who eat meat more than six times a week are 4 times, likely to suffer from a deadly heart attack than vegetarian men. Women over 55 years who eat meat are 1.5 times at risk of a lethal heart attack than do female vegetarians. As for Christians who are strictly vegetarians, their assertion comes from the book of psalms 104:14. The verse states “He causes grass to grow for the cattle, and vegetables for the service of man”. Another verse in Genesis 1:29 that supports this view reads as “I give you every seed bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food” (Contreras 85).
but some people choose to become vegetarian
Very few studies rigorously evaluate and compare omnivorous, vegetarian and vegan subjects as distinct experimental groups. It is thus difficult to discern whether the health advantages attributed to vegans could be generalized to all vegetarians or even to moderate meat eaters following a healthy diet. For example, Goff  compared biochemical profiles of vegans and omnivores matched for gender, age and body mass index. The 21 vegans were found to have lower blood pressure, and lower fasting triacylglycerol and glucose concentrations than 25 omnivorous subjects, as well as a biochemical profile that was cardioprotective and beta-cell protective. Similarly, the health characteristics of 21 sedentary vegans who followed a long-term raw vegan diet were found to be comparable to that of endurance exercisers, with reduced BMI, lipids, lipoproteins, glucose, insulin, C-reactive protein, blood pressure and carotid artery intima-media thickness when compared to 21 sedentary subjects following a Western diet .