Identical Twins Adopt Separate Vegan And Meat Diets To See The Differences It Makes To Their Bodies

By Harsh Rana in Community On 5th July 2024

People have debated for years about the best diet for health. A straightforward answer might be a balanced mix of everything in moderation.

But two identical twins had a unique chance to settle this debate once and for all in a real-world experiment.

Explorers Hugo and Ross Turner, who share the same genetic makeup, decided to test two different diets to see how they would affect their bodies.

In a 12-week study conducted with Kings College London, Hugo followed a vegan diet, while Ross continued eating meat, dairy, and fish. 

The twins had the rare opportunity to compare diets Instagram/@theturnertwiins

To ensure that only their diets were influencing the results, they both consumed the same number of calories each day and followed the same workout routine.

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Speaking to the BBC, which documented their journey, Hugo admitted that the vegan diet took a ‘hit’ on his body.

"I think the first couple of weeks it was really craving and wanting meat and dairy and cheese. I love cheese," he said. 

The initial transition was tough, but despite the cravings, Hugo experienced several benefits from giving up animal products.

He mentioned, "I was now having to eat fruit and nuts and alternatives that didn’t have any dairy in them - and so that meant I was eating a lot more wholesome food, which meant that my sugar levels were a lot satiated during the day. I felt like I had more energy."

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On the other hand, Ross, who continued eating meat, experienced fluctuating gym performance.

He felt ‘very energetic’ on some days but had ‘huge lulls’ on others. 

While Ross had more stable gut health, Hugo also noticed some downsides to veganism, such as a significant drop in the diversity of his gut bacteria.

This reduction in gut bacteria diversity meant Ross was less likely to get sick since his gut bacteria remained stable.

Overall, the twins found that there wasn’t ‘a huge difference, if any’ between the two diets in terms of overall health outcomes.

Hugo did see his cholesterol levels drop ‘off the scale’, which was a significant benefit. 

The twins didn't see any major differences in results BBC Global

Additionally, he lost weight and improved his resistance to type 2 diabetes. 

Meanwhile, the diets also made Ross realize how much processed food he was consuming after seeing Hugo’s healthy vegan meals.

This realization led him to reconsider some of his dietary choices.

Veganism proved more effective for losing body fat, as Hugo lost four pounds and one percent of his body fat.

In contrast, Ross gained ten pounds of muscle but also increased his body fat percentage from 13 to 15 percent. 

The experiment highlighted how different diets can have varying impacts on different aspects of health and well-being, even among individuals with identical genetics.