As reported here, according to a study conducted at the Massachusetts General Hospital, which tracked the health and diet records of 131,342 people over three decades, replacing processed red meat with vegetables, nuts and cereals saw the biggest drop in death rates, of 32 per cent.
The authors are quoted as saying:
Previous long-term studies on major animal and plant foods are broadly consistent with these findings, and there are several mechanisms which could explain the findings.
‘Overall, the study adds to the view healthy diets should emphasise plant foods, including plant sources of protein, and intakes of animal source foods – especially processed meat – should be low.’
The study concludes: High animal protein intake was positively associated with mortality and high plant protein intake was inversely associated with mortality, especially among individuals with at least 1 lifestyle risk factor. Substitution of plant protein for animal protein, especially that from processed red meat, was associated with lower mortality, suggesting the importance of protein source. **
**Mingyang S., Fung, T. T., Hu, F., Willett, W. C., Longo, V. D. , Chan, A.T., & Giovannucci, E.L. (2016). Association of animal and plant protein intake with all-cause and cause-specific mortality. JAMA Internal Medicine, August. (full online text available to me via my employer).