How to harmonise your diet and the environment
Environmental consciousness and the dining table
When it comes to sustainability and environmental consciousness the simple eating decisions you make every day are important. Not only that, it’s also important to choose healthier food options for your own good health. It probably won’t come as any surprise to you to learn that the foods and diet pattern best suited to the environment – and better health! – also tend to be much healthier than the daily diets followed by most people. We’re taking a look at some of the scientific recommendations for the planetary health diet below, and hope you’ll pick up on some of the examples of sustainable food / eco friendly food and perhaps start to incorporate them into your own eating pattern on a regular basis.
Planetary health diet in focus
The planetary health diet was announced by global scientists in early January 2019, after 37 of the world’s top scientists spent years analysing food and diet patterns. The diet they promote is based on the latest medical evidence in addition to helping the environment and averting food poverty. It’s estimated that the world population will be around 10bn by the year 2050; it currently stands at around 7.7bn. In addition, around 11m people die annually as a result of unhealthy eating. This scientific diet takes all the above concerns into account, but you may be pleased to learn it doesn’t recommend cutting out meat and other guilty pleasures entirely. The major thrust of the planetary health diet is aimed towards the adoption of a flexitarian diet plan in which meat and dairy products are eaten in smaller amounts and less often. More details are discussed below.
What are the recommendations for this healthy diet?
The main biggie of the planetary health diet is for consumers to make the switch from red meats to veggie proteins, such as nuts and lentils. The scientists recommend no more than one burger each week or a steak on a monthly basis; this will be one of the most difficult compromises for many meat eaters to make. However, the science behind climate change and global warming and the impacts caused by grazing beef cattle and sheep are hard for even the strongest climate change deniers to refute. That said, the diet is not all bad news for meat eaters, as the scientists do recommend up to two portions of fish and two of chicken each week. This would mean five of your main meals each week could contain meat. The major thrust of the diet is to incorporate more fruit and veggies alongside nuts and legumes. You need to try to make these amount to around 50% of all your meals, and this is where many people will struggle. If you’re wondering how to find delicious veggie meals and healthy options, why not check out our post on vegetarian trends for 2019?
Daily diet for sustainability and planetary health
To put the planetary health diet in context, the sustainable food / eco friendly food to eat on a daily basis include:
- 50g of nuts each day
- 28g of fish per day
- 250g of dairy each day, which amounts to around one glass of milk
- 14g of red meat each day, or 29g of chicken
- Legumes such as beans, lentils and chick peas should amount to around 75g each day
- Only about 13g of eggs should be eaten each day, and this is only just over one egg per week
- Carbohydrate intake should be kept to around 232g per day of whole grains such as rice and bread, and 50g of veggies such as potatoes
- Pile at least 300g of veggies onto your plates each day, and 200g of fruit.
- You can also consume about 31g of sugar and 50g of healthy oils daily when you follow this diet.
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