The Impact of Veganism: One Identical Twin’s Journey to Plant-based Living

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According to a groundbreaking new study, a vegan diet could be the key to lowering “bad” low-density lipoprotein, or LDL, cholesterol, improving blood sugar levels, and achieving significant weight loss. The study, conducted by lead author Christopher Gardner, a research professor of medicine at the Stanford Prevention Research Center, revealed that following a strictly plant-based diet can lead to a 10% to 15% drop in LDL cholesterol, a 25% drop in insulin, and a 3% drop in body weight in just eight weeks.

The distinguishing factor of a vegan diet is its elimination of not only animal flesh but also dairy, eggs, or any other ingredient derived from animals. This type of diet offers a higher intake of fiber, vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients compared to other dietary patterns, as highlighted by study author, Christopher Gardner.

Published in the journal JAMA Network Open, the study utilized 22 sets of identical twins, one of whom was assigned a vegan diet, while the other followed an omnivore diet. During the first four weeks, all meals were strictly provided to ensure that each twin got a clear understanding of the types of food they should be consuming. Subsequently, they were asked to prepare their own diet-appropriate meals and snacks for the remaining four weeks.

Surprisingly, twins on the vegan diet tested younger on measures of biological age, although further data on this is to be presented in a future study. Nonetheless, improvements in cardiovascular biomarkers such as lower LDL cholesterol, insulin resistance, and weight loss were consistent with expectations.

While the vegan diet showed significant health improvements, Christopher Gardner also underlined that individuals don’t necessarily have to adopt a vegan lifestyle to benefit from these findings. Transitioning away from a diet heavy in meat and animal byproducts can be a gradual process that yields similar health advantages.

Ultimately, the study’s findings offer an alternative to a healthy omnivorous diet but leave room for individual dietary choices influenced by health needs, personal preferences, and cultural, ethical, and environmental considerations.


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