SWAP-MEAT: Study With Appetizing Plant Food - Meat Eating Alternatives Trial

Study Aim

This study aims to investigate the impact of replacing meat consumption with plant-based meat alternative consumption on cardiovascular health, the gut microbiome, and metabolic status. The primary outcome was fasting serum trimethylamine-N-oxide (TMAO).

Eligible Participants

Eligible participants were required to meet the following criteria:

  • 18 years or older
  • Consuming meat (beef, pork, chicken) at least once a day on average
  • Willing to consume meat and plant-based meat alternatives at least two times a day on average

Study Design

If eligible, participants were asked to:

  • Attend 7 clinic visits over a 16-week period (30 minutes each).
  • Maintain dietary food records throughout the study.
  • Provide blood, stool, and urine samples, and complete questionnaires.
  • Maintain a diet full of traditional meat products for 8 weeks and plant-based meat alternatives for 8 weeks.


Participants who complete the study received the following free of charge: 

  • An average of 14 servings a week of traditional meat products for 8 weeks
  • An average of 14 servings a week of plant-based meat alternatives for 8 weeks
  • Results of their blood analyses
  • A “map” of their microbiota composition


Plant-based meat alternative products improved several cardiovascular disease risk factors, including TMAO. The results were published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in August, 2020.