A Diet Filled With Meat, Cheese, And Eggs Could Be Killing You, So All Of Our Favorite Things Are Ruined

Adios, all of our favorite foods. A painful new study has found that eating high quantities of cheese, meat, milk, and eggs could precipitate an early death — in short, a protein-rich diet might see you eating your way to the grave. An American-Italian research group published their findings Tuesday in the journal Cell Nutrition, and found that middle-aged adults who ate a diet high in animal proteins were four times more likely to develop cancer, way more likely to develop diabetes, and twice as likely to just die generally.

Goodbye, Asiago. Goodbye, steak. Goodbye, mozzarella... Anyway. The researchers tracked the diets of thousands of middle-aged Americans for over 20 years, and warned that "the great majority" of Americans could do with reducing their protein intake. In particular, too much animal protein, like eggs and meat, seemed to have an adverse effect on the body.

But there's a catch: If you're over 65, then animal proteins could actually be good for you, and help you live longer. Researchers aren't exactly sure what's going on here — maybe when you retire, the universe decides to shine more kindly on you? — but it's thought that protein helps the elderly maintain a healthy weight and protect against the body growing too fragile.

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Still, the researchers have presented a hefty list of food you're meant to cut down on — so what's left? Well, vegetables, that's what. (Humph.) Your best shot at good health and longevity is from eating a low-protein, plant-based diet, according to the study authors.

They pointed to the Italian town of Molochilo as a great example of doing exactly that. The Italian community of the town eats a largely plant-based diet for most of their lives, but move in with their kids after they retire. At that point, they begin eating a diet more rich in animal protein. The town has one of the highest rates of longevity in the world.

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OK, fine. That dollop of guacamole counts as a plant-based meal, right? Right?