The study monitored what happened when one twin ate a vegan diet and the other consumed an omnivorous one over 8 weeks
To meat or not to meat?
Late last month, a study was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) by researchers at Stanford University, who studied 22 sets of identical twin adults' health to see how they differed when one ate a vegan diet and the other consumed an omnivorous one.
The study, which took place over eight weeks, specifically looked at cardiovascular health, including the twins' cholesterol levels, sugar levels, insulin levels and body weight.
The group's diets revolved around healthy foods, including lots of fruits, vegetables and whole grains, and limited unhealthy aspects, such as added sugars, refined grains and highly processed foods.
In a statement to Today, Dr. Christopher Gardner, the senior author of the study, said that identical twins were used specifically because they have the same genes and upbringing, as well as similar attitudes and behaviors with food and exercise.
He added that each set of twins were randomly assigned to one of the two diets, and neither got to choose their own.
Once the two-month study concluded, researchers found that the twins who followed a vegan diet lost more weight, reduced their LDL, which is also known as "bad" cholesterol, and experienced lower insulin levels.
For many, it included a 20% drop in insulin levels, a 12% drop in LDL cholesterol and a 3% drop in overall body weight.
“The takeaway is not that the world should go vegan,” Gardner told Today in a statement after the study was released.
"It is quite likely that there are partial benefits to be experienced simply by replacing some of the meat in one’s diet with more plant foods," he added.
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