Report Title

A Comparison of the Rise of Serum Lipids, Glucose, and HS-CRP Levels After Consumption of a Beef Burger Versus a Vegetarian Burger

Collective Title

Master of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics Research Reports 2020


Background: A strong positive association exists between the consumption of fast food and risk of chronic diseases, which includes heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Some individuals seek more healthful food alternatives, which include vegetarian products. The fast food industry is investing in more plant-based products.

Objective: The purpose of this study is to compare the change in blood biomarkers (serum lipids, glucose, and high sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP)) after consumption of a beef burger versus a vegetarian burger.

Methods: Thirty-five healthy adults (22 females and 13 males), with mean age 28.5 ± 6.1 years and mean Body Mass Index 24.4 kg/m² ± 3.5 completed a double blind, randomized, crossover study. After an eight-hour fast, they were randomly assigned to eat either a beef or vegetarian (Impossible) burger. One week later, the burgers were switched. The biomarkers were measured while fasting, and at 30, 60, and 120 min post-burger consumption.

Results: Linear mixed model was used for data fitting to assess the effect of adjusted covariates on selected nutrients. Blood triglyceride levels significantly increased from baseline over time after consumption of beef burger (p˂0.001). Consumption of the vegetarian burger showed significantly faster increase in triglycerides compared to the beef burger (p˂0.001). At 120 min, there was no significant difference in the levels. Low-density lipoproteins cholesterol significantly decreased over time following both types of burgers (p˂0.001). There was no significant difference between the two burgers. Glucose levels showed significant changes over time for both groups (p˂0.001). There was a significantly (p˂0.004) greater change (initial increase, then decrease) in glucose levels after the vegetarian compared to the beef burger. Glucose levels peaked at 30 min, returning to baseline at 120 min for both groups. There was no significant difference in total cholesterol 3 (p=0.62), high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (p=0.81), or hs-CRP (p=0.58) within or between groups.

Conclusion: Contrary to popular thought, consumption of beef and vegetarian burgers produce similar changes in acute blood biomarkers. Future research is warranted.

LLU Discipline

Nutrition and Dietetics


Nutrition and Dietetics


School of Allied Health Professions

First Advisor

Gurinder Bains

Second Advisor

Lee S. Berk

Third Advisor

Francis Zamora

Fourth Advisor

Lida Gharibvand

Fifth Advisor

Liang Ji

Sixth Advisor

Cindy Kosch

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Degree Level


Year Degree Awarded


Date (Title Page)




Library of Congress/MESH Subject Headings

Biomarkers blood; Diet, Vegetarian;


Research Report

Page Count

25 p.

Digital Format


Digital Publisher

Loma Linda University Libraries

Usage Rights

This title appears here courtesy of the author, who has granted Loma Linda University a limited, non-exclusive right to make this publication available to the public. The author retains all other copyrights.


Loma Linda University Research Reports

Collection Website


Loma Linda University. University Libraries.