It may be time to eat more greens, as TIME reports that vegetarians may have a lower mortality risk than meat eaters.

Analyzing data from 70,000 participants, researchers from Loma Linda University in California found that vegetarians were 12 percent less likely to meet an early death as compared with nonvegetarians.

This may be due to the fact that leaf lovers do not consume red meat, which has been said to contain a great deal of fat and cholesterol–two of the main causes of heart and artery problems. In a previous study, another compound in red meat called carnitine has also been found to fill up blood vessels.

This isn’t to say that everyone should start being vegetarians. After all, too much meat isn’t only the culprit behind untimely deaths; genetics, lifestyle, and environment also play huge roles. What you can do to stay healthy is to eat a well-balanced diet and to always remember to have your daily mix of fruits and vegetables.

(Photo by Plonq via Flickr Creative Commons)

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