You know a plant-based diet is healthy—but did you know going meat-free may also dramatically extend your lifespan? Years of research show the longest-living populations eat less meat, and some studies suggest a meat-free diet may buy you more years on the planet—and a higher quality of life. In general, studies suggest people with the highest meat consumption have an increased risk of cancer, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, infections, and other diseases. But a balanced vegan or vegetarian diet—high in antioxidants and fiber, low in saturated fat, with sufficient protein and important nutrients—can reduce your risk of disease and increase longevity.