(Photo Paula Bronstein/Getty Images)

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.”

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Anne Erickson's love for music drew her into radio, and she started shortly after graduating from MSU. She has a passion for rock and metal, plus local music. She also fronts the band Upon Wings. Email Anne at erickson@WRIF.com, follow her on Instagram at @EricksonAnne and tweet at her @AnneErickson!