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A pair of identical twins have trialed vegan and meat-based diets – revealing some interesting results.
Ross and Hugo Turner – aka ‘the adventure guinea pigs’ – compared the diets over 12 weeks between January and March this year. They ate a very similar number of calories* and both did five or six sessions of endurance training each week.
Throughout the experiment, researchers from King’s College monitored the twins, tracking metrics like muscle mass and weight, as well as cholesterol.
Ross Turner, who followed the meaty diet, told Insider: “We wanted to take bias and opinion out of it and take it 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.”
According to Men’s Health, following the experiment, Ross’ cholesterol stayed the same at 6.5 (which he described as ‘quite high’) and Hugo’s (vegan diet) went down to 4.9. When it comes to body composition, Hugo lost 1kg of fat and gained 1.2kg of muscle mass, while Ross gained 2.8kg of fat and 4kg of muscle mass.
Hugo said his energy levels were consistent, telling Men’s Health: “My energy levels in the gym were much, much better. We were going to the gym five, six times a week and I didn’t have a session where I thought ‘I don’t really have any energy’.”
This contrasts with Ross on the omnivore diet, who said: ” I was the opposite. I was very hungry at 10 or 11 o’clock. I had those big spikes of energy and then I’d crash…We wore continuous glucose monitors: they go on the back of your triceps and connect to your phone. I was spiking, going down, having that sugar low – or meat low – and Hugo was far more satiated.”
Hugo did say his libido dipped on the vegan diet – telling Insider he doesn’t know why, and that ‘his experience may not be true for everyone’.
More vegan foods
As a result of the experiment, both brothers said they wanted to eat more vegan food, with Hugo telling a follower on Facebook: “I’m going to eat less meat, as my energy levels were much better on plant-based diet.”
He added to Insider that eating a plant-based diet had made him expand his culinary world.
He said: “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. But variety is the spice of life.”
*Their meals were prepared by food delivery service Mindful Chef.