Scientists from Warsaw University of Life Sciences and elsewhere found that eating the Mediterranean diet could benefit the health of meat eaters.
The study aimed to compare the well-being of omnivorous, vegetarian, and vegan women, and to examine the associations of adherence to a Mediterranean-style diet, with well-being in each dietary group.
The team tested 636 women, of whom 47.3% were omnivores, 33.2% were vegetarians, and 19.5% were vegans.
They examined the women’s well-being using the validated WHO-5 Well-Being Index, and adherence to the Mediterranean-style diet was determined using a modified Mediterranean diet score.
The findings of the study showed that the proportion of women in the good well-being group was higher in vegetarians and vegans compared to omnivores.
Specifically, 30.9% of omnivores, 46.0% of vegetarians, and 57.3% of vegans were in the good well-being group, while the remaining participants were classified as belonging to the poor well-being group.
Furthermore, the study found that adherence to the Mediterranean-style diet was associated with better well-being in omnivores.
A one-score increment in adherence to the Mediterranean-style diet was linked to a 17% higher probability of good well-being in omnivores, and a significant trend was found.
This suggests that following a Mediterranean-style diet could be an effective way to improve the well-being of omnivorous women.
In addition to dietary factors, the team also found several other determinants of well-being in the different dietary groups.
In omnivores, the predictors of good well-being were adherence to the Mediterranean-style diet, higher self-perceived health status, and lower levels of stress.
For vegetarians and vegans, the determinants of good well-being were older age, higher physical activity (≥3 hours per week), 7-8 hours of sleep time, higher self-perceived health status, and lower levels of stress.
This suggests that the factors that contribute to well-being differ across different dietary groups.
Overall, the study highlights the importance of considering dietary patterns and other lifestyle factors when examining the determinants of well-being in different dietary groups.
The findings suggest that following a Mediterranean-style diet could be an effective way to improve the well-being of omnivorous women.
Other factors such as physical activity, sleep, and stress levels may be more important for the well-being of vegetarian and vegan women.
The research was published in Nutrients and was conducted by Joanna Kaluza et al.
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