According to the preliminary results of a decade-long study, the vegetarian habits of religious group the Seventh-Day Adventists could cause the community to live longer.

According to Huffington Post writer Annie Hauser, early findings from a vast study of 96,000 members of group from across the US and Canada indicates the benefits of a diet free from meat.

Yahoo reports that vegetarian Adventist men live to an average of 83.3 years and vegetarian women 85.7 years (9.5 and 6.1 years, respectively, longer than other Californians).

Hauser says that early findings from the Adventist Health Study 2 suggest:

  • Vegans are, on average, 30 pounds lighter than meat eaters.
  • Vegans are also five units lighter on the BMI scale than meat-eaters.
  • Vegetarians and vegans are also less insulin resistant than meat-eaters.
  • Lean people are also more likely to exercise regularly, eat plants, and avoid cigarettes than overweight people, suggesting that numerous factors are boosting the overall health of these participants.
  • Pesco-vegetarians and semi-vegetarians who limit animal products, but still eat meat once a week or so, have "intermediate protection" against lifestyle diseases.

According to the Seventh-Day Adventist Dietetic Association, members of the group practise a vegetarian dietary lifestyle because of their belief in the holistic nature of humankind.

Breakfast cereal inventor John Harvey Kellogg is one of the church's most famous founding members.

Could these sources of protein help your move away from meat?

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  • Lentils

    A cup of iron-rich lentils packs <a href="http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/legumes-and-legume-products/4338/2" target="_hplink">18 grams of protein</a> -- almost as much as three ounces of steak. <br><br> <em>Flickr photo by <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/notahipster/4032706663/" target="_hplink">little blue hen</a></em>

  • Greek Yogurt

    Regular yogurt's thickier, tangier cousin can contain up to <a href="http://health.usnews.com/health-news/diet-fitness/diet/articles/2011/09/30/greek-yogurt-vs-regular-yogurt-which-is-more-healthful" target="_hplink">twice the amount of protein</a>, all for about the same number of calories and a lot less sugar, according to U.S. News Health. <br><br> Depending on the brand and container serving size, Greek yogurt can pack anywhere from <a href="http://www.stonyfield.com/products/oikos/single-serve/53oz-fruit-bottom/strawberry" target="_hplink">about 13</a> to <a href="http://www.chobani.com/products/c/nonfat/" target="_hplink">18 grams of protein</a>. <br><br> <em>Flickr photo by <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/bpende/4349870788/" target="_hplink">bpende</a></em>

  • Beans

    One cup of <a href="http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/legumes-and-legume-products/4326/2" target="_hplink">garbanzo beans</a>, or chickpeas, contains 15 grams of protein, as does a cup of <a href="http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/legumes-and-legume-products/4284/2" target="_hplink">black</a> or <a href="http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/legumes-and-legume-products/4297/2" target="_hplink">kidney beans</a>. <br><br> <em>Flickr photo by <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/doyland/4503473836/" target="_hplink">Jude Doyland</a></em>

  • Tofu

    A half-cup serving of tofu contains <a href="http://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/4817" target="_hplink">more than 10 grams of protein</a>, according to the USDA. <br><br> <em>Flickr photo by <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/katiecarman/161688267/" target="_hplink">katiecarman</a></em>

  • Tempeh

    A firmer, chewier cousin of tofu, a half-cup serving of this soybean-based bite has <a href="http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/legumes-and-legume-products/4381/2" target="_hplink">15 grams of protein</a>. <br><br> <em>Flickr photo by <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/notahipster/6099142994/" target="_hplink">little blue hen</a></em>

  • Spinach

    Cook a cup of the leafy green for more than <a href="http://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/3234" target="_hplink">5 grams of protein</a>. Spinach is also a good source of calcium and iron. <br><br> <em>Flickr photo by <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/toasty/316293797/" target="_hplink">ToastyKen</a></em>

  • Quinoa

    A cooked cup of this whole grain contains more than <a href="http://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/6430" target="_hplink">8 grams of protein</a>, and a hearty dose of filling fiber. Other grains, like brown rice and bulgur, are good meat-free protein options too. <br><br> <em>Flickr photo by <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/telegirl/2249921894/" target="_hplink">Lucy Crabapple</a> </em>

  • Peanuts

    Almonds, walnuts, pecans, pistachios and other nuts are <a href="http://www.rodale.com/vegetarian-protein-sources?page=2" target="_hplink">all good meat-free protein sources</a>, according to Rodale, but peanuts top the list. One ounce of dry-roasted peanuts contains nearly <a href="http://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/4782" target="_hplink">7 grams of protein</a>. Plus, nuts are loaded with healthy fats -- just don't eat too many! <br><br> <em>Flickr photo by <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/vinni/4763072143/" target="_hplink">Vinni123</a></em>

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