A new report shows that just by removing meat from our diets, we dramatically improve are chances of living a healthy life. Dr Walter Willett, a professor of epidemiology and nutrition at Harvard Medical School said recently the benefits of a plant-based diet had been vastly underestimated. Recent studies show that around 24% or 141,000 deaths each year in Britain were preventable, but most of that was due to smoking, alcohol or obesity. But the new figures from Harvard suggest that at least 200,000 lives could be saved each year if people cut meat from their diets. When they recreated the diet for humans – which amounted to 63 servings of fruit and vegetables a day – they found a 35 per cent fall in cholesterol, in just two weeks, the equivalent of taking statins. “That was quite dramatic,” he said “We showed that there was no real difference between what we got with the diet and what we got with a statin.” Dr Neal Barnard, president of the Committee for Responsible Medicine also said people need to wake up to the health benefits of vegetarianism and veganism.