22 sets of twins tried vegetarian and meat dishes. Here’s how they fared

See: Inside the hottest plant-based diet trends

In the long-running debate over whether a meat-free diet or a meat-rich diet promotes better health, a new study weighs the benefits of a meat-free diet.

Researchers at Stanford University studied the health of 22 sets of identical twins, looking at how they fared when one twin ate a vegetarian diet or a diet with no animal products, while the other twin ate an omnivorous diet, or a diet rich in animals and plants. Two months.

The study was published on November 30 Journal JAMA Network OpenCardiovascular health of the twins was specifically looked at, including cholesterol levels, sugar levels, insulin levels and body weight.

After eight weeks of following their respective diets, twin siblings who ate a vegan diet lost more weight, lowered their LDL, or “bad” cholesterol, and experienced lower insulin levels, according to the study’s findings.

“Findings from this trial suggest that a healthy plant-based diet provides a significant protective cardiometabolic benefit compared to a healthy omnivorous diet,” the study’s authors wrote.

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Two people are sitting at a table together and having lunch at home.

The study’s findings build on previous research showing that plant-based diets are better than plant-based diets when it comes to cardiovascular health.

A study published last year found that eating a plant-based diet can add years to your life. For that study, Researchers in Norway Computer models were used to compare a Western diet — high in animal-based proteins, dairy and sugar — with a plant-based diet heavy in fruits, vegetables, beans and grains, and animal-based proteins.

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Also: Why a Vegan Switched to Animal Products After 4 Years

According to computer models, a 20-year-old eating a plant-based diet could add 10 years to his life. An 80-year-old man who started a plant-based diet could add three years to his life, the study found. Published February 2022 in PLOS Medicine.

According to the study’s authors, what differentiates the Stanford study is the use of twins with identical genetic makeup and the use of environmental factors.

“Because identical twins have nearly identical DNA and many shared experiences (eg, upbringing, geographic area of ​​growing up, and similar exposure to other variables), differences observed in health outcomes after adopting different diets can often be attributed to diet itself,” the authors wrote. .

A plant-based diet is an eating pattern that includes mostly or entirely foods derived from plants, including vegetables, grains, nuts, seeds, legumes, and fruits.

Also: Eating a more plant-based diet can add years to your life, study finds

Plant-based diets are generally different from vegetarian diets, which eliminate animal foods and animal foods, and vegetarian diets, which eliminate all animal foods and all meat, fish, and poultry.

Plant-based diets often emphasize whole foods.

Kanitra Sekaran, MD, is a resident physician in internal medicine and a member of the ABC News medical section.

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