The Nutritional Reversal Of Cardiovascular Disease: Fact or Fiction, By Author: Caldwell Esselstyn

Cardiovascular disease (CV) is the number one killer in the Western world. But it doesn’t need to be. The truth is that more than 75 percent of cases of heart attacks, strokes, and other cardiovascular disease events are preventable. In The Whole Heart Solution, America’s Holistic Heart Doc Joel K. Kahn, MD, reveals more than 75 simple, low-cost things you can do right away—from drinking your veggies to opening your windows to walking barefoot—to make yourself heart attack proof.

Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn illustrates that a plant-based, oil-free diet can not only prevent the progression of heart disease but can also reverse its effects. Dr. Esselstyn is an internationally known surgeon, researcher and former clinician at the Cleveland Clinic and a featured expert in the acclaimed documentary Forks Over Knives. Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease has helped thousands across the country, and is the book behind Bill Clinton’s life-changing vegan diet.

The proof lies in the incredible outcomes for patients who have followed Dr. Esselstyn’s program, including a number of patients in his original study who had been told by their cardiologists that they had less than a year to live. Within months of starting the program, all Dr. Esselstyn’s patients began to improve dramatically, and twenty years later, they remain free of symptoms.

Connect with The Real Truth About Health http://www.therealtruthabouthealth.com/ https://www.facebook.com/The-Real-Tru… https://www.instagram.com/therealtrut… https://twitter.com/RTAHealth

Passionate believers in whole food plant based diets, no chemicals, minimal pharmaceutical drugs, no GMO’s. Fighting to stop climate change and extinction.

The World’s Top Nutrition And Lifestyle Doctors Explain The Latest Research On How To Dramatically Reduce Your Chance Of Getting A Disease While Maintaining Your Optimal Weight And Health

Part 1 with Alan Goldhamer, D.C., Joel Fuhrman, M.D., Pamela A, Popper, Ph.D., Milton Mills, M.D.

 

7 Things That Happen When You Stop Eating Meat | Forks Over Knives

People go plant-based for lots of reasons. These include losing weight, feeling more energetic, reducing the risk of heart disease, decreasing the number of pills they take … there are dozens of great reasons! For even more inspiration, check out these other benefits you can expect when you go plant-based.

1. YOU’LL REDUCE INFLAMMATION IN YOUR BODY.

If you are eating meat, cheese, and highly processed foods, chances are you have elevated levels of inflammation in your body. While short-term inflammation (such as after an injury) is normal and necessary, inflammation that lasts for months or years is not. Chronic inflammation has been linked to the development of atherosclerosis, heart attacks, strokes, diabetes, and autoimmune diseases, among other conditions.

In contrast, plant-based diets are naturally anti-inflammatory, because they are high in fiber, antioxidants, and other phytonutrients, and much lower in inflammatory triggers like saturated fat and endotoxins (toxins released from bacteria commonly found in animal foods). Studies have shown that people who adopt plant-based diets can dramatically lower their level of C-reactive protein (CRP), an indicator of inflammation in the body.

Continue reading here: 7 Things That Happen When You Stop Eating Meat | Forks Over Knives

So many great articles on the FOK website! Please check them out and subscribe to their emails.

I received a heads up about several from Healthy World Sedona (HWS) News and also highly recommend subscribing to their newsletter.

https://theplantstrongclub.org/2020/07/01/healthy-world-sedona-news-july-1-2020/

Popular nutrition advice you should ignore! Ariel Belloso

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Ask almost anyone what they need to do to lose a few pounds, and they’ll probably say, “Cut back on the carbs.”

As a nutrition researcher, I’ve heard it hundreds of times. It is one of the most damaging mistakes I see people make.

While the low-carb movement has waxed and waned in popularity since the Atkins revival of the late 90s and early 2000s, currently most folks assume that carbohydrates are inherently fattening.

The truth of the matter is that, biologically speaking, we are primarily carbohydrate eaters.

Carbohydrates are your body’s main energy source and are necessary, not only for remaining active, but also for brain function.

Insufficient carbohydrate levels in the diet lead to an array of health concerns, primary among which are various eating disorders, hypoglycaemia – which is often associated with diabetes, ketosis, intense food cravings, fatigue, and weakness.

In addition, because humans naturally have a sweet tooth (as we are biologically frugivores, adapted in nature to eat fruits), we are more attracted to carbohydrates than fats or proteins.

The low-carb diet, as promoted by Atkins and Paleo diets, are nothing more than disguised “high-fat” diets, as by eating less carbohydrates we increase the amount of fat we consume in most cases; assuming we continue to consume the same number of calories that is.

Dr. James W. Anderson, professor of medicine and clinical nutrition at the University of Kentucky School of Medicine, said of the Atkins diet plan, “This is absolutely the worst diet you could imagine for long-term obesity, heart disease, and some forms of cancer. If you wanted to ruin your health, you couldn’t find a worse diet than Atkins.”

Despite the advertising hype of the meat and dairy industries, humans require an extraordinarily small amount of protein in their diets.

Many official organizations, including the U.S. National Research Council, suggest that eating a mere 10% of our total calories as protein is sufficient. 

Our ideal diet should consist of at least 80% carbs, but they must be the right carbs.

Before our cells can utilize food for fuel, whether it contains carbohydrate, protein, or fat, it must first be converted into simple sugars.

Fruit comes in an intricate, highly nutritious package that matches our nutritional needs better than any other category of food, and it is considered ‘health food’ by almost everyone in the health field.

Eating plenty of fresh fruit is the obvious choice for obtaining carbohydrates, as they provide the only substantial and healthful whole-food source of simple sugar.

Yours for health!

Ariel

https://nutritionraw.com/

Gripping New Documentary Exposes Attempts to Silence Undercover

HOGWOOD: a modern horror story will be available to watch on Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV and Google Play Movies from 25 June 2020. HOGWOOD has been selected for the British Documentary Film Festival.

Conspiracy theories are everywhere but the documentary HOGWOOD: a modern horror story reveals a real and shocking home-grown conspiracy. Streaming on Amazon Prime, Apple TV and Google Play Movies, the 35-minute indie documentary follows an intrepid group of undercover investigators as they enter the UK’s biggest factory farms. The conspiracy unfolds as they fight against some of the most powerful players in the animal agriculture industry, delicately weaving a chilling tale of negligence and greed.

Narrated by Jerome Flynn, best known for his role as Bronn in HBO’s Game of Thrones, the documentary centres around the quaintly named Hogwood farm. Jerome opens the documentary against the picturesque backdrop of rural England, just minutes away from the farm. He tells the disturbing tale of Hogwood and how it came to be one of the most infamous pig farms in the UK. His narrative is intertwined with undercover footage and interviews with investigators and activists representing the animal welfare group Viva! — who conducted the campaign.

The film goes onto feature interviews with a livestock vet speaking out about her horrific on-the-job experiences in similar farms for the first time. It concludes with expert comment from GP and public health expert, Dr Josh Cullimore, and Oxford University researcher Joseph Poore. The release of HOGWOOD could not be timelier, given that the current COVID-19 pandemic came from the consumption and exploitation of animals. It paints a bleak picture of how meat pollutes our planet and puts us at risk of further disease pandemics, highlighting the catastrophic impact if we do not reduce our meat and dairy consumption. This truly is a film for now.

Speaking in interview, Dr Josh Cullimore stresses the connection between the recent coronavirus outbreak and intensive farming:

“Three quarters of the antibiotics used across the world are for preventative animal agriculture rather than to treat diseases in humans. This is used deliberately to support an unnatural, intensive, unsanitary form of animal agriculture.

“But it isn’t just bacteria that are a threat. There are many viruses in wild animals that can jump species into animals kept in markets or intensive farms. They have the potential to mutate and infect humans and the result can be deadly, as we’ve found with coronavirus. Places like Hogwood act as reservoirs of infection and allowing them to continue is like playing Russian roulette.”

Joseph Poore, well-renowned for his recent large-scale research into the environmental impacts of food, added: “The science is pretty unanimous. We just cannot have a future with this volume of animal products in it that is sustainable. It is simply not a feasible option.”

The director and producer of HOGWOOD, Tony Wardle, said:

“I have been producing investigative documentaries for many years and no film has been more harrowing than HOGWOOD. The name ‘a modern horror story’ could not be more apt; there are modern horror stories taking place each day in the British countryside. Not only are these horrors hidden from sight, but they are endorsed and funded by huge corporations and the Government. That is why this film had to be made — because the public has a right to see what takes place beyond the factory farm walls.”

Speaking about the film, Jerome said:

“It is an honour to be presenting this very important film. After seeing the horrendous conditions and animal abuse that is happening behind Hogwood’s walls I had to do something. The pigs of Hogwood aren’t just meat products, they are sensitive, emotionally aware beings just like us and they deserve better than this.”

HOGWOOD: a modern horror story will be available to watch on Amazon Prime Video,
Apple TV and Google Play Movies from 25 June 2020.

HOGWOOD has been selected for the British Documentary Film Festival.

ENDS information:
  • View the electronic press kit here: https://bit.ly/2YsyxfI
  • Viva! is a registered charity 1037486.
  • Viva! has investigated Hogwood pig farm four times from 2017 to 2019.
  • Hogwood was a Red Tractor approved farm, supplying supermarket giant Tesco, major food producer Cranswick plc and supposedly represented the best of British farming.
  • In 2019, after the final ground-breaking investigation which gained national media coverage, Hogwood was dropped by Red Tractor, Cranswick plc and Tesco.
  • HOGWOOD sheds new light on the horrific conditions experienced by animals at Hogwood Farm and is the culmination of months of investigative work by Viva!.

Source: Gripping New Documentary Exposes Attempts to Silence Undercover

U.K Government Urged To Close Slaughterhouses As COVID-19 Infections Soar

‘A number of theories have been suggested as to why meat processing plants are so badly affected’

The U.K government is being urged to permanently close slaughterhouses as they continue to be hotspots of COVID-19 outbreaks.

The call comes from welfare charity Viva!, which is campaigning for the end of factory farming, to protect both animals and human health.

COVID-19 hotspots

U.S slaughterhouses have been branded ‘COVID-19 hotpots’ by a top analyst as infection levels within the facilities have outpaced the rest of the country.

According to the Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting, which has been compiling data of the positive cases and deaths, as of June 23, there have been at least 25,700 reported positive cases tied to meatpacking facilities in at least 243 plants in 33 states, and at least 93 reported worker deaths at 39 plants in 24 states.

And the U.S is not alone: according to the Farm Animal Investment Risk and Return group (FAIRR), meat processing plants are at the center of Covid-19 outbreaks worldwide. Facilities in GermanyIreland, Canada and the U.K among other nations have experienced outbreaks.

 

‘The link is clear’

In a statement sent to Plant Based News, Dr. Justine Butler, Viva! Health senior researcher, said: “The link between intensive animal farming and disease outbreak is clear. The Covid-19 pandemic is just one in a long line of zoonotic diseases which have been caused by the consumption and exploitation of animals, including SARS, MERS, HIV and Ebola – to name just a few. Now, meat processing plants are directly increasing the number of coronavirus cases and putting the wider population at risk.

“A number of theories have been suggested as to why meat processing plants are so badly affected. It could be a lack of social distancing due to the quantity of animals being processed and the speed of production lines, which is amplified by the poor working conditions and cold temperatures.

“Additionally, factory farming has been optimized to prioritize cost and efficiency at the expense of worker safety, animal welfare, and biosecurity, allowing for plenty of opportunities for disease outbreak.”

‘Could have been avoided’

Dr. Butler added that the pandemic could have been avoided, saying: “If government-supported plant-based food initiatives and encouraged a transition from animal to arable farming, we could dramatically decrease disease outbreak.

“Factory farms kill over 70 billion animals a year – it’s big business and it’s coming back to bite us! We must take action to end our reliance on unsustainable animal agriculture and prevent future pandemics. It’s time to end factory farming and go vegan.”

Source: U.K Government Urged To Close Slaughterhouses As COVID-19 Infections Soar

Be sure to also see https://www.lewrockwell.com/2020/06/no_author/how-bcg-vaccination-trials-might-finally-unlock-the-many-mysteries-of-covid-19/

Particularly discussion between Bill Sardi and Dr. Broxmeyer re “unexplained characteristics of COVID-19. For example COVID-19 seems very discriminatory in the way it affects regions of the world. Some countries report as much as a thousand times less deaths per inhabitant than Western European countries, which are the most affected so far. There are astonishing discrepancies.”

COVID-19: Our Banquet of Consequences – by Dr. Will Tuttle

“Everybody, soon or late, sits down to a banquet of consequences.” – Robert Louis Stevenson

The spinning fury at the core of our culture, animal agriculture, not only exploits and destroys the lives and purposes of animals, it does the same to humans as well, and we see this playing out now with this draconian lockdown of healthy people, eroding mental health, human rights, and economic independence, and destroying countless small and medium businesses (including vegan ones).

In my lectures over the years, I’ve described animal agriculture as a Trojan horse: on the surface it appears to be a helpful gift, but on closer examination, and with deeper understanding, we see clearly that it is an utterly harmful force in our individual and collective lives, incessantly harming the health of our ecosystems and society, as well as our physical, psychological, and spiritual well-being.

Animal agriculture is also the hidden cause of the COVID pandemic, and of the dominant narrative that is imprisoning billions of people in fear and confusion in their homes, and eroding our capacity to speak up and defend our basic freedoms. We are reaping the harvest that we have been sowing for decades and centuries. This is our banquet of consequences. Our culture has created a vast system of animal enslavement that heartlessly condemns billions of sentient beings—whose interests are as significant to them as ours are to us—to lives of misery, terror, and pain. Their purposes are stolen and they are reduced to mere material units of production in a rapacious economic system that sells them by the pound. They are impregnated on rape racks, their offspring immediately stolen, exploited, and killed, and all are forcibly vaccinated and drugged, tracked, microchipped, mercilessly mutilated and oppressed, and brutally killed in an unnecessary, ugly, surreal prison-world devoid of meaning and respect. Animal agriculture defines our society.

Those of us who purchase the flesh and secretions of these unfortunate beings, which is most of humanity worldwide, are the causal forces propelling this system ever onward with the flood of money we spend—votes we cast—driving its ongoing and reckless devastation. Thus, as we persist in engineering and imposing a dystopian future on billions of beings, we now see the gaping maw of a dystopian future looming before our eyes. Mandatory confinement, separation of family members, loss of basic freedoms, forced vaccinations, routine microchipping, mass tracking and surveillance: all these standard factory-farm practices are now being openly discussed and planned by health officials, pharmaceutical representatives, and government agencies. What we relentlessly inflict on farmed animals we see manifesting in our human world, and, ironically, we seem powerless and strangely uninspired to stop it.

Why is this? Why are we so unable to see the obvious and respond with clarity, vitality, and solidarity to these insidious existential dangers to us and to our children? Why are we immobilized by fear and mesmerized by the voices of authority, unable to connect with either our intuitive wisdom or to think critically about our situation? Why the nearly-blind allegiance to mainstream media narratives and medical-pharmaceutical forces that we should by now have learned to question? Why do we find those relative few who dare to speak up and question the dominant COVID narrative to be so threatening?

It is because animal agriculture not only exploits animals, it exploits us. As we exploit and abuse, we will be exploited and abused. Each one of us, as we purchase meat, dairy, or egg products, becomes an invisible killer to the cows, pigs, hens, and fishes we are exploiting. We directly but invisibly cause terror, pain, and death, and we compound it further by eating it and feeding it to our vulnerable and innocent children, ritually indoctrinating them as we were. We are the invisible killers, but we repress this awareness, and project it outward, impulsively terrified of invisible killers, which seem to be everywhere.

We spend billions on military defense to protect ourselves from lurking terrorists, and now are even more frightened by microscopic enemies, the hordes of viruses, pathogens, and other unseen agents of death arising and projected from our unfaced violence.

This is our shadow: our repressed awareness, guilt, and shame, propelling us to give our power away to authorities in the vain hope they will protect us. At war with animals, nature, and each other, we make war on invisible viruses as well, completely failing to understand them in our fear-based materialist delusion. We see and suspect enemies and threats everywhere because we are the enemies and threats, and our fear sends us into the waiting arms of the merciless global conglomerates, who provide both the narrative and the toxic “solution.” They will profit from us more in power even than in dollars. They have purchased both media and government, and we find ourselves, the wounded and programmed dominators of animals, increasingly dominated by impersonal forces beyond our control.

Turtles1 by visionary artist Madeleine TuttleThere is but one way to human freedom, and to a world of health and harmony, and that is the way of ahimsa—nonharmfulness to other beings—a vegan world of respect for all. We will be worthy of understanding and appreciating ourselves and everyone on this beautiful and abundant planet when we dismantle the entrenched narrative of human superiority and entitlement. A new story is yearning to be born in our human culture. It has ancient roots, and this current emergency (emerge-and-see), if we respond appropriately, can put us on a higher path of liberation and healing.

It seems that vegans are in a unique position to be the midwife helpers of this new birth. We have been discussing for decades how animal agriculture is the source of many of the food-borne diseases afflicting humanity, such as campylobacter, listeria, salmonella, and mad-cow, as well as the rise of antibiotic-resistant bacteria and the zoonotic spread of disease. Beside this of course, are the many diseases caused by diets high in animal-sourced foods, such as heart disease, liver and kidney disease, diabetes, obesity, dementia, and many forms of cancer. As vegans, we are typically making a conscious effort to take responsibility for our health and also to contribute to the health of others, and to question the established animal agriculture narratives that promote violence toward animals, hungry people, workers, ecosystems, indigenous people, future generations, and our own organs, cells, and relationships.

Fortunately, it seems that increasing numbers of people are beginning to make the connections between animal agriculture and the many assaults on our collective health and freedom. May we all do our best to keep this momentum increasing, and to protect our rights and prevent censorship. These are the immense opportunities and challenges we are currently facing. Thanks for contributing your heart, love, critical thinking, and deep questioning during this demanding time.

18 Responses to COVID-19: Our Banquet of Consequences

Source: COVID-19: Our Banquet of Consequences – by Dr. Will Tuttle

Human Genes are Turned On and Off by Diet

Scientists once believed that genetic information was fixed at the time of fertilization, and therefore was beyond any outside influences. This has been found to be untrue. Good genes are “turned on” by a healthy environment, just as “bad genes” are silenced by a healthy environment. In practical terms “a healthy environment” means a diet based on a plentiful supply of starches, vegetables, and fruits (avoiding animal-derived foods and oils). The biochemistry involved is complex, but may be of interest to you.

Genetics is the study of heredity in general and genes (DNA) in particular. Changes in genes occur only over long periods of time (measured in tens of thousands of years) through evolution, whereas expression of the information stored in our genes changes rapidly and is effected by pressures from the outside environment. Epigenetics is the study of these timely adaptations. (The Greek prefix epi- in “epigenetics” refers to biologic changes that occur that are “on top of” or “in addition to” those directed by our basic set of genes that we inherit from our parents.)

Reading the Genetic Code

The most fundamental form of epigenetics accounts for our entire development. Life begins with genetic information from the father (sperm) and the mother (egg) joining together to form a fertilized egg; thereby the basic genetic code for a person is established. Within this one cell is all the information required to grow all the parts of a baby, including perfectly formed hair, a nose, lips, a heart, and two legs. To accomplish this remarkable differentiation during the development of the embryo, specific segments of the genetic code (DNA) either become active or remain silent at specific times within specific cells. For a nose to grow on a child’s face, the “nose genes” in a few embryonic cells must be turned on while unrelated genes are turned off. Exactly how these precisely orchestrated events play out is still a mystery.

How different genes are expressed is also the result of changes in our environment. This plasticity of our genetic material has been clearly demonstrated by “twin studies.” Identical twins begin life as a single fertilized egg that splits into two with identical genes in each egg. If the expression of our genetic code were fixed then identical twins would remain identical throughout life. They would develop similarly and go on to have the same health issues. However, that is not what is observed. Furthermore, as twins age, their DNA actually becomes more dissimilar. The differences are even more apparent when twins are raised in distinctly different environments (this happens when they are separated after birth, for example).

Diet-induced Epigenetic Changes Are Also Inherited

Epigenetic changes that appear in sperm or egg cells prior to fertilization can be transferred to subsequent generations. For example, the effects of severe starvation that took place in the German-occupied Netherlands during the Dutch famine of WWII (1944–1945) were subsequently seen in following generations of Dutch children. Epigenetic changes that allowed a pregnant mother to survive on 580 calories a day for six months appeared in their offspring. In essence, “thrifty genes” were turned on in the fetus in preparation for survival during very lean times. Unfortunately, this enhanced efficiency turned out to be detrimental because post WWII were times of plenty in Western Europe, with an abundance of meat, dairy products, cakes, and cookies.

Daughters born to mothers starved during the Dutch famine were found to have even higher risks of diseases typically caused by over-nutrition. They had over twice the risk of breast cancer, more hypertension, and developed heart disease three years sooner than daughters born to mothers who were well nourished during pregnancy. In line with adaptations made to survive in a world of food scarcity, the daughters born to “starved” mothers were also found to be more capable of reproduction than girls born to mothers who were well nourished. Prolific reproduction enhances survival of the species.

Another example of the influences of food shortages on epigenetic changes is provided by the study of several generations of people from Overkalix, Sweden. Records show that during the years of 1800, 1812, 1821, 1836 and 1856 there was total crop failure followed by extreme suffering. However, 1801, 1822, 1828, 1844 and 1863 were years of food abundance. Not surprisingly, Swedish men exposed during preadolescence to the periods of famine were less likely to die of cardiovascular disease. What was surprising is that similar advantages were passed on to the next generations. Grandsons (of once starving men) were at one-fourth the risk of developing type-2 diabetes, and died on average six years later in life than the grandsons of fathers who were well nourished during a similar time in life.

These differences in the health of offspring from the Dutch and Swedish famines may seem to be contradictory: Mothers pregnant during lean times passed on epigenetic changes that harmed their daughters in times of plenty, whereas fathers passed on changes that seemed to help their grandsons, even though these offspring also ate a rich diet. Adequate explanations for the different outcomes are not available, but both observations point to the fact that sudden changes in the environment (the availability and type of food) can cause rapid changes in gene expressions that are remembered and passed down to subsequent generations.

Epigenetics in Times of Over-Nutrition

We now live in a world where diseases caused by over-nutrition are far more common than diseases of under-nutrition (starvation). Based on observations from times of under-nutrition, we can expect that our bodies are efficiently making epigenetic changes that will enhance the human race. Genes are being turned on to deal with excesses of fat, protein, cholesterol, and environmental chemicals; all at levels never before faced by past populations. Although epigenetic changes may blunt the impact of all this toxicity, they cannot compensate fully. And as before, these adaptations will be passed on to subsequent generations with unknown results to their health.

Fortunately, modifications in gene expression now being caused by over-nutrition are reversible. Studies of people and laboratory animals have identified many chemicals found in foods that result in both helpful and harmful gene expressions. Not surprisingly, plants make beneficial chemicals. For example, folate from plants causes favorable epigenetic changes. For maximum benefit and minimal risk, this natural chemical must be consumed in the right package—like a bean or banana—not as a pill.

Folate-deficiency causes birth defects (neural tube defects), so the obvious solution would be to enrich a reproductive woman’s diet with foliage (plants)—the natural source of folate. Instead, women have been told to take folic acid pills before pregnancy, and the food supply in many countries has been supplemented (folic acid is added to flours and cereal products). Folic acid supplied in this manner, as an isolated concentrated nutrient, results in fewer birth defects but offers no added protection against the risk of death, cancer, and heart disease for the general population.

Animal foods, such as meat, poultry, cheese, milk, and eggs are well recognized as the primary cause of obesity, heart disease, and common cancers in people following the Western diet. Choline, a chemical found in high concentration in animal foods, has profound effects on gene expression and is considered to be an important factor in our modern day diseases.

Finally, calorie-restricted diets have been shown to result in epigenetic changes that are associated with weight loss, and a reduced risk of developing diabetes, heart disease, and cancers. Other than by involuntary starvation (as seen with the Danes and Swedes), the natural, appetite-satisfying, health-enhancing way to restrict calories is to replace meat, dairy, and oils in the diet with starches (beans, corn, potatoes, rice, etc.), vegetables, and fruits.

The science of epigenetics is new and interactions between our environment and our genes are complex. But we know enough about epigenetics to stem the tide in the rise of obesity, heart disease, and cancers for people living in western societies for now and the future. Proper nurturing (by health-supportive foods) will bring out the best in our genes. The fact that the vast majority of people have survived successfully on plant- (more exactly, starch-) based diets for all of verifiable human history should be sufficient evidence for us to make the right food choices now.

Source: https://www.drmcdougall.com/misc/2013nl/sep/epigenetics.htm

Identical twins compared a vegan diet with meat-eating and found the vegan diet led to fat loss and more energy – Hugo & Ross Turner

The Turner twins, Hugo, left, and Ross, before comparing a vegan diet with an omnivorous diet in a 12-week experiment. 
Courtesy of Hugo and Ross Turner
  • Ross and Hugo Turner, a pair of identical twins known as “the adventure guinea pigs,” decided to compare a vegan and omnivorous diet and found some striking differences in the results.
  • The twin on the vegan diet had more energy and lost body fat, while his meat-eating counterpart gained more muscle but also more fat.
  • They also noticed a difference in their gut microbiomes, the beneficial bacteria insider the body that might explain how various diets can prevent chronic disease.

The Turner twins have climbed a mountain and trekked to the most inaccessible points on every continent, all in the name of research, charitable causes, and exploration. For their latest adventure, brothers Hugo and Ross Turner trekked into even more fraught territory — comparing the effects of a vegan diet to an omnivorous diet on two genetically identical people.

The Turners decided to study the two eating styles side by side over a 12-week fitness training regime from January to March this year. They were inspired by the growing popularity (and sometimes controversy) of vegan diets for athletes, following documentaries like “The Game Changers,” according to Ross.

“We wanted to take bias and opinion out of it and take down to the genetic level. We can get science involved because we’re twins and genetically identical, so we can compare ourselves in extreme environments,” Ross told Insider.

The pair monitored how they felt during the course of the experiment and were followed by researchers from King’s College, who tracked basic health metrics like weight, cholesterol, and muscle mass.

Both twins did endurance training at the gym five to six times a week, using a program designed by Ross, a personal trainer. They also ate an almost identical number of calories in meals prepared by the Mindful Chef delivery service.

By the end, they noticed some big differences in terms of muscle gains, fat loss, and digestive health.

Hugo had higher energy and lost fat on a vegan diet

Before giving up animal products for the experiment, Hugo weighed in about 185 pounds and 13% body fat. After about a month on the vegan diet, he said he had dropped nearly nine pounds. By the end of the experiment, he measured in at 181 pounds. Nearly all the weight lost was fat mass, with his overall body-fat composition dipping by a full percentage point, to 12%. His cholesterol levels also dropped.

Even more striking were his energy levels. Hugo said he felt significantly more alert during his lunchtime gym sessions, compared with his typical routine.

“On a vegan diet my mental focus was much better, I didn’t have the mid-afternoon energy dips, and felt a bit more charged,” he told Insider.

He said one explanation could be how the vegan diet changing his snacking habits. Since biscuits and chips aren’t vegan, he’d switched to mainly fruit and nuts.

Hugo noticed one exception to his higher energy levels — his libido, which he said dropped off sharply.

“I just lost it — I really don’t know what happened,” he said, adding that his experience may not be true for everyone.

The twins did not conduct blood tests during the experiment, but said they would do so if they tried something similar in the future. They could measure testosterone, for example, to see if it explains some of the changes.

Buckwheat pizza, mushroom, sundried tomato & pesto Mindful Chef
One of the meals Hugo Turner ate in the 12-week vegan-diet experiment, a buckwheat pizza with mushrooms. 
Mindful Chef

Ross gained more mass overall

Ross has always been the slightly bigger of the brothers, and this was exacerbated by the experiment. From starting around 13% body fat, he put on 10 pounds of muscle, in addition to just over four pounds of fat. That brought his overall body fat percentage up slightly, to 15%, and his final weigh-in to 189 pounds.

His cholesterol levels stayed consistent throughout the 12-week duration.

Ross said the meal plan for this experiment was slightly more varied than his typical diet, and extremely balanced in terms of macronutrients, with array of chicken, fish, red meat, veggies, dairy, and grains.

Before this, a typical day of eating for the twins would include toast or porridge for breakfast, sandwiches for lunch, and some version of chicken, veggies, or pasta for dinner.

The vegan diet also caused big changes in the gut microbiome

For Hugo, the dietary change was even more significant, since his usual animal-based protein was swapped out for things like tofu, tempeh (fermented soybeans), and jackfruit.

“Eating a vegan diet, you almost have to overcompensate with variety, so I was eating foods I wasn’t really used to,” Hugo said.

As a result, his gut microbiome — the populations of beneficial bacteria that live in the human digestive system — also changed in some interesting ways, based on fecal samples analyzed by Atlas Biomed before and after the experiment.

The changes potentially improved Hugo’s resilience to some forms of chronic illness, according to the analysis, lowering his risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes. That supports previous research suggesting plant-based diets could reduce the risk of those conditions by improving the microbiome.

But to their surprise, both brothers saw a decrease in their microbial diversity, or the number of different bacteria species present in the gut. That’s generally linked to less resilience against some types of chronic illness such as Crohn’s disease.

Although Ross’ microbiome changed slightly, it remained much more consistent than his brother’s.

It’s not clear why those changes occurred, although the Turners hypothesized that the abrupt change to a vegan diet, and the relatively short duration of the experiment, might have been factors.

The Turners said they plan to incorporate more vegan foods — especially snacks — into their regular diet

One caveat of the experiment, the Turners said, was that 12 weeks wasn’t a long time for a typical dietary study. If they could do it over, the brothers said they’re prefer to trial the diets for six months to a year for better data.

But the brothers said they’ve learned a lot and plan to incorporate more plant-based eating in their lifestyle. The brothers are known for their endurance expeditions and want to test how vegan eating might benefits them on their treks.

“You lose about half a kilo of weight a day on an endurance trip, more than that if you’re carrying extra weight, so we like to be lean and mean nothing in between on the trip,” Hugo said.

He added that being forced to find vegan alternatives also greatly expanded his world of food options.

“One thing to come out of this is we don’t eat nearly enough variety of foods. Often, we kind of just disguise the same foods in different forms,” Hugo said. “But variety is the spice of life.”

Ross said that there tends to be a reluctance for meat eaters to try vegan foods, and he hopes this experiment will encourage dedicated omnivores to branch out, since many plant-based substitutes like vegan burgers are similar in taste and texture to the classics.

If you’re curious about trying veganism, he added, you don’t to go “cold tofu” and jump in all at once. Based on his experience, Hugo recommends starting with your snacking habits, and swapping out between-meal treats with vegan options.

The twins concluded that their optimal diet is a mix of plant- and animal-based foods.

“Having a vegan diet has benefits and so does eating meat. I don’t think either outshone the other here,” he said. “We’ll be doing a mix of both, having non-meat days and adding more vegan foods into our diet, eating better-quality meat and less of it. We’ve taken away the best of both worlds.”

Source: Identical twins compared a vegan diet with meat-eating and found the vegan diet led to fat loss and more energy