Making healthy choices isn’t just about the well-being of our bodies; it’s about doing (and eating) what’s best for the global environment.
Every so often a new diet or health craze will appear to restrict, control and shame what we eat. And more often than not the sole focus is to make the dieters look and feel better. Only recently has there been a global discussion (and concern) for finding a sustainable diet: one that is beneficial to our bodies as well as our planet.
The EAT-Lancet Commission—comprising of 37 experts in the fields of health, nutrition and sustainability—has become a leading source of investigations and recommendations for a planetary health diet. The international group launched a 46-page report earlier this year that aimed to make us rethink how and what we eat as well as the production and disposal of food.
So what does a healthy and sustainable diet look like? In short, plants are the new main course and are to account for half of what we consume on a daily basis. Animal products such as dairy, eggs and meat are kept to a minimum. The rest of the EAT-Lancet diet is made up of whole grains, plant sourced proteins (nuts, legumes), and healthy oils and fats (avocados, olive oil).
Need some inspiration? Try overnight oats with blueberries for breakfast, quinoa salad with butternut squash and grapes for lunch, and a warm potato casserole with a fresh green salad for dinner.
According to the report, the planetary health diet can lower risks of cancer, strokes and diabetes in such an impactful way that it could save up to 11 million adult deaths per year.
Of course, there has to be consideration for the ‘planet’ in a planetary health diet. You, as a consumer, have the power to: Choose foods that are grown efficiently and thoughtfully. Buy less and of better quality to minimize waste. And encourage family and friends to do the same. After all, each of us has a choice but it takes a community to make a change.