Back to Top Skip to main content Skip to sub-navigation

DGMC medical study looks at plant-based diet

Man wearing mask and gloves putting container of salad into salad bar Navy Culinary Specialist 3rd Class Keith Johnson preps another healthy meal for the salad bar at Naval Hospital Jacksonville’s galley. (U.S. Navy photo by Jacob Sippel)

Recommended Content:

Combat Support | Health Readiness | Nutritional Fitness

David Grant USAF Medical Center (DGMC) researchers recently completed a meal study focused on a plant-based diet versus an omnivorous diet in conjunction with support from the University of the Pacific’s Thomas J. Long School of Pharmacy.

The study specifically looked at how a boxed meal kit (e.g. Purple Carrot, etc) facilitated plant-based diet (f-PBD) improves markers of heart health including a reduction in low density lipoproteins (LDL-c) and weight as compared to a standard omnivorous diet (f-SOD).

Thirty-two otherwise healthy, but overweight military beneficiaries were enrolled in the study. While they normally consumed an omnivorous diet, for the study they voluntarily followed either a plant-based diet or maintain their baseline standard omnivorous diet for a duration of 4-weeks. Volunteers consumed breakfast and lunch on their own based on their chosen diet group. Dinner was facilitated by a plant-based or a popular non-plant-based boxed meal kit to the plant-based and standard omnivorous groups respectively.

Researchers measured important cholesterol, weight and blood pressure markers at baseline and at 4-weeks. Participants were encouraged to maintain baseline activity throughout the duration of the trial which was also assessed by commercially available activity trackers.

Presented at the American Heart Association 2020 Scientific Sessions in mid-November, the study found that on average participants in the f-PBD group had a significant reduction in LDL-c from baseline as compared to an increase from baseline in the f-SOD group.

Low density lipoprotein, also commonly referred to as “bad” cholesterol, contributes to accumulation of fat within arteries causing atherosclerosis. According to the American Heart Association, as LDL-c values increase and continue to build plaque within the arteries, blood vessels narrow which in turn reduces blood flow and delivery of oxygen and nutrients to vital areas of the body. This accumulation and narrowing increases risk factors for potential cardiovascular diseases like heart attack, stroke, and peripheral artery disease.

Likewise, the study found a significant reduction in weight from baseline in the f-PBD group compared to an increase in weight observed with the f-SOD group. Participants in the plant-based group had a 3.82-pound reduction in weight from baseline compared to a 0.87-pound weight gain in the omnivorous group.

“As a physician, I promote the adoption of a plant-based diet. This study provides data that switching to a plant-based diet is heart healthy and the use of a meal kit can facilitate that transition,” said Air Force Capt. Amanda Keller, lead author and DGMC family medicine resident.

This study was important as a previous meta-analysis published in the Journal of American Medicine Association Internal Medicine demonstrated that long term compliance to an increasingly plant-based diet supports overall good health.

“Mission readiness is of uttermost priority to the U.S. Air Force and we are committed to doing the research needed to optimize the health of our troops,” explained Air Force Lt. Col. Patrick Kennedy, director of DGMC’s Clinical Investigation Facility. 

This study was supported by the Clinical Investigation Facility and faculty from the University of the Pacific Thomas J. Long School of Pharmacy.

You also may be interested in...

Do sports / energy drinks enhance individual performance?

Article
4/12/2021
Military health personnel wearing face mask discussing food options

While there are many energy sports drinks are available, their overall value varies.

Recommended Content:

Total Force Fitness | Physical Fitness | Nutritional Fitness

TCCC ASM CM Student Registration Form

Form/Template
4/7/2021

Students must complete this form to register for the course. All forms are emailed to the DMRTI TCCC Section for processing.

Recommended Content:

Combat Support | Defense Medical Readiness Training Institute | Course Information | Tactical Combat Casualty Care Course (TCCC)

TCCC ASM CM FAQ Sheet

Fact Sheet
4/7/2021

Additional information about the TCCC ASM CM course for potential students to review.

Recommended Content:

Combat Support | Defense Medical Readiness Training Institute | Course Information | Tactical Combat Casualty Care Course (TCCC)

Dietetic interns train to better MHS beneficiaries nutrition, health

Article
4/5/2021
Military health personnel wearing face mask while discussing food options

Registered dietitians, exercise therapists, dietetic interns and other team members in the Nutrition Services Department at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, assist patients and staff in developing healthy eating and lifestyle habits.

Recommended Content:

Nutritional Fitness

MSMR Vol. 28 No. 04 - April 2021

Report
4/1/2021

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Division. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Disparities in COVID-19 vaccine initiation and completion among active component service members and healthcare personnel, 11 December 2020–12 March 2021; Update: Heat illness, active component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2020; Update: Exertional rhabdomyolysis, active component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2016–2020; Update: Exertional hyponatremia, active component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2005–2020; Skin and soft tissue infections, active component, U.S. Armed Forces, January 2016–September 2020.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Public Health

The difference between Celiac Disease & Non-celiac Gluten Sensitivity

Article
3/26/2021
Close up picture of slices of bread

Celiac disease is not a food allergy; it's an autoimmune disease diagnosed through a blood test.

Recommended Content:

Nutritional Fitness | Total Force Fitness

When we “Break Bread," we build social bonds

Article
3/25/2021
Picture of military personnel sitting at a table eating food together

Eating socially has been shown to influence happiness and life satisfaction; specifically participating in evening meals with more people.

Recommended Content:

Total Force Fitness | Nutritional Fitness

Army dietitian uses nutritional care to fight COVID-19

Article
3/23/2021
Military personnel wearing a face mask standing in front of a Nutrition Clinic

Army dietician plays a critical role in COVID-19 patient recovery.

Recommended Content:

Nutritional Fitness | Total Force Fitness | Coronavirus

TFFcogs Nutritional 1200x675

Infographic
3/23/2021
Total Force Fitness for Kids social media graphic showing an orange military kids logo, a multi-colored Total Force Fitness logo, and a blue circle with a star in the center

Total Force Fitness for Kids social media graphic showing an orange military kids logo, a multi-colored Total Force Fitness logo, and a blue circle with a star in the center and plate with a fork and a knife emanating from the center

Recommended Content:

April Toolkit | Month of the Military Child – Celebrating the Mighty | Total Force Fitness | Nutritional Fitness

METC trains dietician techs to build, support a Medically Ready Force

Article
3/18/2021
Military health personnel preparing food trays while wearing a face mask

Nutrition plays an important role in military readiness.

Recommended Content:

Nutritional Fitness | Total Force Fitness | Health Readiness

Proper nutrition impacts overall health & readiness

Article
3/4/2021
Man wearing a face mask restocking fruit at a store

Nutritional fitness implications for Total Force Fitness are far reaching.

Recommended Content:

Total Force Fitness | Nutritional Fitness | March Toolkit | March Toolkit

MSMR Vol. 28 No. 03 - March 2021

Report
3/1/2021

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Division. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Influenza surveillance trends and influenza vaccine effectiveness among Department of Defense beneficiaries during the 2019–2020 influenza season; Influenza outbreak during Exercise Talisman Sabre, Queensland, Australia, July 2019; Update: Sexually transmitted infections, active component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2012–2020; A retrospective cohort study of blood lead levels among special operations forces soldiers exposed to lead at a firing range in Germany.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Public Health

Eating disorders hinder optimal health and TFF nutrition concept

Article
2/25/2021
a picture of the produce section at a grocery store

Disordered eating lessens Total Force Fitness.

Recommended Content:

Total Force Fitness | Nutritional Fitness | February Toolkit | February Toolkit

Army hospital powers through record-breaking winter storms

Article
2/22/2021
A military medical center covered in snow

BAMC comes away from major winter storm unscathed.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness

Training for a healthy heart can improve overall health

Article
2/22/2021
Military personnel wearing a mask exercising in the gym

Service members must be heart healthy to perform optimally throughout their military careers.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Physical Fitness | Medical and Dental Preventive Care Fitness | Total Force Fitness | Heart Health
<< < 1 2 3 4 5  ... > >> 
Showing results 1 - 15 Page 1 of 42

DHA Address: 7700 Arlington Boulevard | Suite 5101 | Falls Church, VA | 22042-5101

Some documents are presented in Portable Document Format (PDF). A PDF reader is required for viewing. Download a PDF Reader or learn more about PDFs.