Although both the Mediterranean and vegan diets appear to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, evidence is stronger for the Mediterranean diet

In December 2018 researchers from the UK published the results of their study which compared the effects of the Mediterranean diet and vegan diet on microvascular function and cholesterol levels. Twenty-four healthy individuals, aged 18 to 35 years, were divided into two equal groups and followed either the Mediterranean diet or a vegan diet for a period of 4 weeks. Various parameters were analysed both at the start and end of the 4-week period. Results showed both diets reduced saturated fat and increased the intake of fibre. The Mediterranean diet reduced total fat intake as well as improving microvascular function whereas the vegan diet reduced total cholesterol and produced weight loss. The researchers therefore concluded that whilst both diets might reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, evidence for the Mediterranean diet appeared stronger as it was able to produce changes in vasodilatory ability and nitric oxide bioavailability.

Rogerson D et al. Contrasting Effects of Short-Term Mediterranean and Vegan Diets on Microvascular Function and Cholesterol in Younger Adults: A Comparative Pilot Study. Nutrients. 2018 Dec 3;10(12). pii: E1897

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