Gone are the days when people relied on the myth that meat consumption was necessary to meet all of our body’s needs for nutrients and protein. Today, studies confirm the health benefits of meat-free eating. Moreover, plant-based diets are not only nutritionally sufficient but also a great way to reduce the risk of many chronic illnesses. Compared with meat eaters, vegetarians are more likely to consume less saturated fat and cholesterol, and increase their intake of dietary fiber, vitamins C and E, folic acid, magnesium and potassium. As a result, they're likely to lower blood pressure, and lower body mass index (BMI), all of which are associated with longevity and a reduced risk for many chronic diseases.