A new study claims that vegetarians are healthier than meat-eaters, even if they’re smokers, drinkers, or overweight.

The team at the University of Glasgow in Scotland looked at more than 175,000 British adults. What they found was that people chowing down on a plant-based diet were healthier than meat-eaters, regardless of their smoking habits, alcohol consumption, age, or weight, reports The European Association for the Study of Obesity.

The Scottish crew also looked at various biomarkers, such as preventing or promoting cancer and heart and age-related diseases. So, why do vegetarians come out on top? The study points to them ingesting less cholesterol than their carnivorous counterparts.

“Our findings offer real food for thought,” study leader Carlos Celis-Morales stated in a press release. “As well as not eating red and processed meat which have been linked to heart diseases and some cancers, people who follow a vegetarian diet tend to consume more vegetables, fruits, and nuts which contain more nutrients, fiber, and other potentially beneficial compounds.”

For more information on this study click here.

Alexis Zarycki is your average girl with the hopes of leaving an everlasting impact on the world. Follow her on Instagram @official_lexpaige