Faculty Sponsor Name

Katherine H. Ingram

Abstract (300 words maximum)

Diet is a lifestyle factor that influences metabolic health. Recent studies indicate that substituting red or processed meat with whole grains may reduce risk for type 2 diabetes. PURPOSE: To investigate whether metabolic health, assessed by insulin sensitivity and abdominal adiposity, is associated with a higher animal-based and lower plant-based diet. METHODS: Intra-abdominal adipose tissue (IAAT) was measured via ultrasound in 31 normo-glycemic women (ages 20.9 ±2.4 years, BMI 28.1 ±3.5) who completed ASA24 diet recall and food frequency questionnaire. Insulin sensitivity was assessed using Matsuda Index from a 2-hour oral glucose tolerance test. A diet scoring system was created for consumption of plant-based and animal-based food. Saturated fat (SFAT) was used as a marker for consumption of animal-based foods, and subjects were divided by median into High SFAT or Low SFAT groups. One-way ANOVA was used to test mean differences and correlation analyses were used to determine associations. RESULTS: ANOVA revealed a lower IAAT (2.9 ±1.1 vs. 3.4 ±1.1), higher insulin sensitivity (15.7 ±10.4 vs. 8.5 ±4.4), and higher % body fat (0.41 ±0.05 vs. 0.37 ±0.06) in the Low SFAT group compared to the High SFAT group. When controlled for age and kcal, fiber (r=0.43), protein (r=0.44), and legumes (r=0.45, p<0.05 for all) had positive correlations with insulin sensitivity, while total plant foods (r=0.19) and total animal foods (r=-0.27, p=ns for all) had non-significant associations. CONCLUSION: While overall plant-based food consumption was not associated with metabolic measures, insulin sensitivity was associated with an increase in fiber consumption, supporting the benefits of a higher plant-based diet. Though overall FFQ animal-based food consumption had no significant associations with metabolic measures, the Low SFAT group was more insulin-sensitive than the High SFAT group.

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Plant-Based vs. Animal-Based Diet and Their Association with Metabolic Function

Diet is a lifestyle factor that influences metabolic health. Recent studies indicate that substituting red or processed meat with whole grains may reduce risk for type 2 diabetes. PURPOSE: To investigate whether metabolic health, assessed by insulin sensitivity and abdominal adiposity, is associated with a higher animal-based and lower plant-based diet. METHODS: Intra-abdominal adipose tissue (IAAT) was measured via ultrasound in 31 normo-glycemic women (ages 20.9 ±2.4 years, BMI 28.1 ±3.5) who completed ASA24 diet recall and food frequency questionnaire. Insulin sensitivity was assessed using Matsuda Index from a 2-hour oral glucose tolerance test. A diet scoring system was created for consumption of plant-based and animal-based food. Saturated fat (SFAT) was used as a marker for consumption of animal-based foods, and subjects were divided by median into High SFAT or Low SFAT groups. One-way ANOVA was used to test mean differences and correlation analyses were used to determine associations. RESULTS: ANOVA revealed a lower IAAT (2.9 ±1.1 vs. 3.4 ±1.1), higher insulin sensitivity (15.7 ±10.4 vs. 8.5 ±4.4), and higher % body fat (0.41 ±0.05 vs. 0.37 ±0.06) in the Low SFAT group compared to the High SFAT group. When controlled for age and kcal, fiber (r=0.43), protein (r=0.44), and legumes (r=0.45, p<0.05 for all) had positive correlations with insulin sensitivity, while total plant foods (r=0.19) and total animal foods (r=-0.27, p=ns for all) had non-significant associations. CONCLUSION: While overall plant-based food consumption was not associated with metabolic measures, insulin sensitivity was associated with an increase in fiber consumption, supporting the benefits of a higher plant-based diet. Though overall FFQ animal-based food consumption had no significant associations with metabolic measures, the Low SFAT group was more insulin-sensitive than the High SFAT group.