New Netflix show chronicles Stanford study on vegan diets
A new show chronicles a study by Stanford researchers that aimed to compare the impacts of plant-based diets without the variable of genetics.
- They did so by recruiting more than 20 pairs of identical twins and placing one on a vegan diet while the other ate an omnivore diet.
Details: Netflix's four-episode series, titled "You Are What You Eat: A Twin Experiment," follows four sets of twins for the eight weeks of the experiment, which found that a plant-based diet resulted in many health benefits, including reduced cholesterol, increased healthy gut bacteria, decreased inflammation and decreased insulin.
How it happened: The twins ate meals supplied by the researchers in the first four weeks before transitioning to cooking their own meals.
- Both diets contained plenty of vegetables, whole grains and fruits but avoided sugars and refined starches.
- The vegan diet was entirely plant-based with no meat or animal products, while the omnivore diet incorporated chicken, fish, eggs, cheese, dairy and other animal-sourced foods.
- In just two months, the twins on the vegan diet displayed an increase in their life expectancy, a reduction in dangerous fat and a lower risk of heart disease, according to vitals taken by the researchers.
Of note: One pair of twins might be familiar faces to San Francisco residents — chefs Pam and Wendy Drew, who run the catering company Amawele's South African Kitchen.
- After the show shot to the No. 3 most-streamed spot in the U.S. last weekend, they became local celebrities.
- The Drews, who grew up in South Africa, have reported cutting their meat consumption in half and adding more plant-based dishes to their catering business since participating in the study.
The bottom line: "This suggests that anyone who chooses a vegan diet can improve their long-term health in two months," Christopher Gardner, a professor in the Stanford Prevention Research Center who provided dietary advice to participants during the study, said in a news release.
More San Francisco stories
No stories could be found
Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios San Francisco.