Year Published: 2020
Tariku Sisay, Tesfaye Tolessa, and Wondyefraw Mekonen
This study looked at the relationship between short-term adherence to a plant-based (vegan) diet and metabolic outcomes in an Ethiopian Orthodox religious population practicing Lent for 7 weeks. Data was collected at baseline, 7 weeks, and 14 weeks. A plant-based vegan diet excludes meat/animal products and centers the diet around fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes, and whole grains.
The vegan diet resulted in significantly lower blood pressure, weight, and cholesterol levels after 7 weeks. Findings were even more pronounced in women than in men. However, regains were noted at the 14-week assessment after Lent. The authors conclude that vegan diets can be beneficial even in the short-term during religious dietary restrictive periods.