So you want to be svelte and ripped? Go vegan, dear readers. From bodybuilders like Max Seabrook and Kenneth G. Williams to professional athletes like Brendan Brazier and Tia Blanco, more and more notable fitness figures are plant-based eaters.
Now, we’re amazed by this recent story from Insider profiling identical twins, Hugo and Ross Turner, who decided to do a little experiment with vegan eating: One twin went on a completely vegan diet, while the other stuck to an omnivorous routine for 12 weeks this past January through March. During this period, each brother kept tabs on how he felt and researchers from King’s College London logged their weight, cholesterol, and muscle mass.
The results were pretty amazing. Hugo, who adhered to a plant-based diet free of animal products reported higher energy and enjoyed a reduction in his body-fat composition percentage and cholesterol levels. He also reaped the benefits of having more energy throughout this trial period: “”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 said to Insider.
Ross, meanwhile, who consumed a carnivorous, diet gained 10 pounds of muscle (he’s always been the bigger of the two brothers). Though the gain in muscle may be considered a perk, his body fat percentage went up slightly and he did not see his cholesterol levels drop as his brother did.
In addition to these differences, the vegan diet also made a noticeable impact on the brothers’ gut microbiome, a key indicator of healthy digestion. It seems the changes from partaking in the experiment enhanced Hugo’s resilience to some types of chronic illness, but both brothers saw a decrease in microbial diversity. The verdict is still out on why these results happened, and future research may shed interesting light on the topics and how veganism impacts our gut health. Curious to learn more? You can read the full story on Insider here.
Indeed, this is all certainly food for thought for those considering making a shift to a plant-based diet. Now that the experiment is over, we wonder if Hugo stuck with it. Here’s to hoping he did—and Ross joined him.