A Sustainable Diet For You And For The Planet!
It is essential that we all carefully consider including the most sustainable foods in our diets for a healthy body, a healthy planet, and a healthy future.
Adopting a sustainable diet can help people maintain their health while also ensuring that the planet has enough resources to feed future generations of humans.
What is a sustainable diet?
A sustainable diet is generally healthy and has a low environmental and food supply impact. Food production has a crucial impact on greenhouse gases, in addition to changing the environment through land clearing and other farming practices.
A sustainable diet takes into account the impact on the environment, the individual, and the food chain as a whole. The following factors influence the long-term viability of a diet:
- nutritional accessibility
- relative price
- Ecosystem protection for biodiversity
- overall health
Taking all of these factors into account should help ensure that the planet can continue to provide enough food and resources for a growing population as well as future generations.
There are no hard and fast rules about what constitutes a sustainable diet. Some diets and food items may be more sustainable than others, and choosing them can help a person reduce their environmental impact.
How to switch to a sustainable diet?
If a person wants to make more long-term changes to their eating habits, they should follow these steps. They can help a person reduce their environmental impact and improve their health when taken all at once or individually over time.
- Cut down on processed foods
The production of processed foods necessitates the use of numerous resources. Furthermore, most packaged and processed foods are manufactured in a single location before being shipped hundreds or thousands of miles to a retailer.
Begin by replacing packaged foods like cereal and snack foods with whole foods like grains, fruits, and vegetables.
- Buy locally
One of the most effective ways for a person to reduce their environmental impact is to reduce the amount of packaging, processing, and shipping their food requires. This can begin with buying local foods, including both plant and animal products.
When a person’s purchases are closer to the source, they can also seek out and support producers who use environmentally-friendly growing methods, such as regenerative farming, or people who ethically raise their stock.
- Turn the plate over
A person who wants to eat more sustainably can try to change the ratio of foods on their plates from primary meat to primary plants. A plate with at least half vegetables and one-quarter grains is more sustainable than one with a large piece of meat and smaller servings of vegetables and grains.
- Reduce animal products
It is not necessary to eliminate meat and animal products if this is not an easy first step. Small reductions in total consumption, on the other hand, can have a significant impact over time.
One simple way is to dedicate one day a week to eating only plant-based foods, such as the popular “meat-free Monday” initiative. Eating less meat and fewer animal products reduces a person’s carbon footprint and may improve their health as well.
Fruits, vegetables, and grains are high in essential nutrients and vitamins and contribute significantly to overall health. They also necessitate fewer resources.
They are a reliable source and have a lower environmental impact than meat and animal products. Plant-based proteins, such as tofu, legumes, and beans, are also less harmful to the environment than meat.
- Meal preparation to reduce food waste
Food waste is one of the most significant contributors to greenhouse gas emissions. In landfills, uneaten food decomposes, releasing methane gas, one of the most potent greenhouse gases.
A person can reduce food waste by planning what they’re going to cook and eat each week, only buying what they’re going to use, and using leftovers. Another extremely effective way is to make compost at the home or community level.
- Foods in packages
Packaged foods contribute to waste and the use of plastic. Many packaged foods, such as sugary snacks, are also processed, and as a result, they may provide little dietary nutrition.
Reducing or eliminating packaged foods can help a person save money and improve their overall health.
Anyone considering switching to a more sustainable diet should consider what diet they are most likely to stick to and begin with small steps. Kanupriya Khanna, a Senior Consultant Nutritionist & Dietitian with over 18 years of experience in nutrition, can provide expert advice. Kanupriya Khanna is regarded as one of the best dietitians in Delhi because of her unwavering commitment to making a difference in people’s lives by instilling good eating habits and lifestyles.
One day at a time!