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This study examines the impact of plant-based, Mediterranean, Paleolithic, and DASH diets on CVD risk factors.
Nondiabetic adults (ages 35-85)with one or more risk factors for CVD selected 1 of the 4 diet plans and then underwent a comprehensive nutrition education program prior to a 60 day diet intervention in which they kept a daily food log and met weekly with a multi-disciplinary study teams. Weight, blood pressure, fasting glucose, hemoglobin A1C, C-reactive protein, lipids, and lipoprotein particles were measured during an initial health screen, at 60 days, and 6 months post intervention.
279 subjects completed the 60-day dietary intervention (58 Vegan, 80 Mediterranean, 76 Paleo, 65 DASH), and 193 returned for 6-month follow-up, After 60 days on their respective diets, subjects lost an average of 9 lbs (4.7%, total 2,576 lbs) with improvements in BP across all groups. Subjects on the Vegan and Paleo diets lost the most weight (∼6.5%) and showed the greatest improvement in lipid risk factors (11-14% decrease in LDL-P; 10-20% decrease in VLDL and TG).
All four diets promoted weight loss and improved BP but had variable effects on lipid risk factors. Effects were greatest and sustained in those subjects that attended regular diet support group meetings.