About The Study

The APPROACH Study is designed to investigate how dietary protein source influences the effects of saturated fat (High vs. Low) on your blood lipoproteins and other risk factors for heart diseases.  The dietary protein sources to be investigated include red meat (i.e. beef, pork) or white meat (i.e. chicken, turkey) or non-meat sources (i.e. nuts, beans, soy) of protein.  We want to see if changing the type of protein source in your diet affects your   blood lipoproteins differently when they are eaten with higher amounts or lower amounts of saturated fat (animal fat).

If you are interested in the study, we will have you come to the clinic for a blood draw, exam, and interview to see if you are eligible for the study. If you are eligible and interested, we will have you eat 4 different diets and we will provide all the food (except for fresh produce) that you will need to eat for the 4 diets. You will eat the first diet for 2 weeks (‘baseline’ diet) and then you will eat 3 different experimental diets for 4 weeks each. In between the experimental diets, you will eat your regular home diet for 2 weeks. To learn more about the diets, click here.

At the end of each of the baseline and experimental diets, we will have you come to the clinic on 2 days in a row for blood draws and study tests. The first of these visits will last ~1 hour and the second visit will last ~2 hours. Study tests after each diet will include:

  • A fasting blood draw.
  • Blood pressure measurements.
  • Weight, waist, and hip circumference measurements.
  • Body fat assessment using a Bod Pod (link to YouTube Bod Pod description),
  • An endothelial function test using a non-invasive instrument called the EndoPat (link to YouTube EndoPat video).
  • An additional blood draw after an injection of heparin to measure the enzymes in your body that break down fat.

While you are eating the diets, you will need to pick up your food at our clinic in Berkeley once or twice a week. At these visits, we will also weigh you to make sure you’re not gaining or losing weight. We will also monitor your physical activity by asking you to wear a small activity monitor every day.
We are conducting the study at the Cholesterol Research Center (CRC) in Berkeley. The CRC is part of Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute.

If you participate in the study, you will receive:

  • $1200 after completing the study.
  • Free frozen entrees and groceries as part of your meal plan.
    • We will provide ~90% of the food that you will eat during the baseline and test diets (you will need to purchase fresh produce).
    • Frozen entrees will need to be heated and the other foods will need to be measured and prepared.
  • Lab work and body fat results so you can learn how your body responds to each diet.
  • 4 visits in a free personalized weight loss program with our research nutritionist.

If you’re interested in being a part of the study, click on the “Participate” link.


Study timeline

Study timeline