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A new study finds that healthy twins who ate a vegetarian diet for eight weeks had less “bad” low-density lipoprotein, or cholesterol, better blood sugar levels, and greater weight loss than siblings who ate a diet of meat and vegetables.
“There was a 10% to 15% reduction in bad LDL cholesterol, a 25% reduction in insulin, and a 3% reduction in body weight in just eight weeks, all by eating real, raw food,” said Christopher Gardner, the study’s lead author. Animal products. , a research professor of medicine at the Stanford Prevention Research Center in Palo Alto, California.
A vegan diet differs from a vegan diet in that it eliminates not only animal meat, but also dairy products, eggs, or any other animal-derived ingredient. A strictly plant-based diet can be higher in fiber, vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients than other dietary patterns, said Gardner, who is also director of the Nutrition Studies Research Group at Stanford University.
“The results of this study confirm the benefit of current dietary guidelines for reducing cardiovascular disease risk,” Alice Lichtenstein, director and chief scientist at Tufts University’s Cardiovascular Nutrition Laboratory, told CNN in an email. She did not participate in the study.
She said: “A diet containing more trans fats than saturated fats, more whole grains than refined grains, fewer calories, more fiber and vegetables, and lower cholesterol resulted in cardiovascular disease risk factors.” “Blood blood is more suitable than the comparison diet.”
The study was unusual because it used genetically identical twins, most of whom shared similar lifestyle behaviors, including hairstyles and clothing.
“The twin study design is elegant because it largely controls for genetic and environmental factors that may influence trial outcomes,” said Dr. Frank Hu, professor of nutrition and epidemiology and chair of the Department of Nutrition at Harvard T.H. Chan School of General Medicine. Boston Health. He did not participate in the study.
“However, recruiting identical twins into nutritional intervention studies is challenging; this is why this design is rarely used in nutritional studies,” Hu said. “Also, findings from identical twins may not be generalizable to the general population.” “Population.”
The study, published Thursday in the journal JAMA Network Open, included 22 pairs of identical twins. In each pair, one twin was assigned a vegetarian diet, while the other was assigned a vegetarian diet. They each followed their diet for eight weeks. During the first four weeks, all meals were provided to each twin so that they could see what types of food they should eat.
“I feel like a lot of people on a vegan diet are like, ‘Oh my God, soda is vegan.’” Pancakes are vegan. “No, they’re ultra-processed refined grains,” Gardner said. “So, we tried to have a healthy vegan diet and show them “Fast as it was for four weeks.”
The meat and vegetable group also delivered meals that were higher than their normal prices.
“I really care about balance or balance in my studies, I don’t follow a super healthy vegan diet and some crap diet that can be eliminated,” Gardner said. “The people on the omnivorous diet ate more vegetables, more whole grains, less added sugar, and fewer refined grains than they did on their regular diet. They didn’t get bad meat, it was all good quality. So, They did get some nutritional improvements.
Menu for the first vegetarian week:
• Strawberries, almonds and oats
• Oats with cinnamon and berries
• Tofu with vegetarian breakfast sausage
• Coconut, curried spinach and chickpeas with quinoa
• Black Bean Bowl with Tofu
• Buffalo beans with cauliflower
• Chipotle-Lime Cauliflower with Vegetarian Chicken
• Herb roasted lentils and potatoes with remoulade sauce
• Chickpea harissa with sumac, carrots and broccoli
• Tofu with coconut and brown rice curry
Once each pair of twins learned what types of foods to eat, they were asked to prepare their own meals and snacks for the second half of the study, Gardner said.
Biological markers including blood and stool were collected from each twin at baseline and again at weeks 4 and 8. Surprisingly, the twins on a vegetarian diet tested younger on measures of biological versus chronological age, data that will be presented in a future study, Gardner said.
However, an improvement in cardiovascular biomarkers such as lower LDL cholesterol, insulin resistance, and weight loss was expected, Gardner said.
“Vegetarians get more fiber and less saturated fat. This will explain the LDL cholesterol. More fiber will explain the lack of insulin during fasting because it leads to a slower release of glucose into the bloodstream,” he said. “And all vegetables, fruits and grains are larger.” of meat, so people can feel more full and eat fewer calories.”
But as with all diets that prevent people from eating the foods they used to eat, staying the course can be difficult.
Carnivorous menu for the first week:
• Egg whites with turkey bacon and Brussels sprouts
• Mushroom and spinach frittata
• Chicken fajitas with zucchini, squash and tomatoes
• A sunny side up egg with asparagus and tomatoes
• Chicken with Cajun Yukon potatoes and brown rice
• Honey Dijon steak with vegetables and rice
• Grilled chicken with broccoli and quinoa
• Roasted pepper burger with cabbage and jasmine rice
“To be honest, the twins who followed the vegetarian diet were less satisfied because it was so restrictive. So, there’s definitely the flip side to this: ‘Oh, I could have eaten more, but I wasn’t hungry for more grains and more vegetables.’
Gardner said that despite the rapid improvement in health, people do not have to become vegetarians to benefit from the study results. Eating meat and animal by-products can be reduced slowly, little by little.
Harvard’s Hu agreed, saying: “While this study showed that a vegetarian diet may provide additional benefits Compared to a healthy omnivorous diet, this does not mean that everyone should become a vegetarian.
“Dietary choices are influenced by a variety of factors such as individual health conditions, personal preferences, cultural traditions, and ethical and environmental considerations,” he said.