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Topic summary contributed by volunteer(s): Randy

Omnivores eat both plant and animal foods. Omnivores may have higher rates of cancer, diabetes, and heart disease than vegans and vegetarians. An omnivorous diet also appears to increase the risk of abdominal fat, higher BMIobesityunhealthy stools, and accelerated aging.

Many clinical trials have compared omnivores to those eating plant-based diets. On average, those eating a plant-based diet may be deficient in three nutrients, whereas omnivores tend to be deficient in seven. Vegans have been found to have more acid erosion in their teeth compared to omnivores, though research indicates there are no significant differences in plaque, gingivitis, or cavities. The bone density of those eating a plant-based diet has been found to be equal to that of omnivores. Those eating strictly plant-based diets appear to have significantly more alkaline urine than omnivores, which helps remove uric acid from the body.

Other studies have found that individuals who switched from an omnivorous to a vegetarian diet had lower toxic metal levels of cadmium, lead, and mercury in their bodies. Children eating a plant-based diet were found to have the highest IQs, with those eating vegetarian ranking second, and omnivorous eaters at third. Omnivores apparently have a higher level of carcinogenic industrial toxins and pesticides in their bodies than vegans do. A diet with animal foods likely means a higher ingestion of arachidonic acid, which in turn may account for higher reported mood scores by vegetarians compared to omnivores. A comparison study between vegans and omnivores found that vegans had better blood sugar and insulin levels.

The information on this page has been compiled from the research presented in the videos listed. Sources for each video can be found by going to the video’s page and clicking on the Sources Cited tab.

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