5 Ways To Eat For A Healthier Planet And A More Vibrant You

Jun 1, 2022


We are currently living in unprecedented times with our environmental crisis. While it’s our responsibility to deal with the daily needs of our own health, we’ve also been made to be responsible for the health and longevity of this planet. Ironically, these two things are synonymous with one another. It’s possible to care for ourselves and the world simultaneously with how we choose to eat and nurture ourselves. Our planet needs our utmost attention, but taking matters into our own hands can feel downright overwhelming, to say the least. With pressing issues like global warming, plastic pollution, soil depletion, and so much more, it’s hard to know where to begin. If you take a step back and look at the bigger picture, how each of us contributes matters. On an individual level, one of the most rudimentary things we can do to support planetary health is something we already do multiple times a time- eating.

I think we can all agree that our food system is due for a sizable metamorphosis. How we go about choosing foods helps to jumpstart that change we wish to see. Did you know that by eating more produce you can cut your dietary carbon footprint down by a third? Researchers estimate that if everyone transitioned to a plant-rich diet, we could limit the effects of climate change by up to 50 percent by 2050. Eating a diet that consists of (mostly) plants requires less energy, land, and water resources and is more sustainable than diets high in animal products. Consuming an abundance of fruits and vegetables is also associated with a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes, various cancers, heart disease, and stroke.

Whether we realize it or not, food is an integral component of living our fullest lives. It’s what nourishes us, bridges the gap between various cultures, and is how we connect to the world around us. However, just because you’re consuming more fruits and vegetables doesn’t mean you are condemned to a life of one salad after another. There’s so much more variety to plant-based eating than you may think. Below, you will find five easy tips for creating a healthier planet and a more vibrant, healthier you.

5 Tips On Eating For A Healthier Planet:

1.Consume An Abundance Of Fruits And Vegetables Daily:
While the amount of fruits and vegetables we should consume has been a highly debated issue we finally have some clarity with a recent study. Scientists have found that five cups of fruits and veggies per day is associated with lower rates of mortality. A diet rich in assorted plants helps support the overall health of our planet thanks to biodiversity in terms of soil health. As we know, focussing on eating optimal amounts of fruits and vegetables benefits our health greatly. Chronic diseases can be halted, and the increase in fiber can help repair our gut microbiome and so much more.

2. Look To Whole, Plant-Based Protein:
Did you know that global livestock is responsible for almost 15 percent of human-related greenhouse gas emissions ? The amount of space needed to grow animal-sourced foods makes up 83 percent of the planet’s agricultural land. Research indicates that increased vegetation regrowth and relying on a plant-based diet could rid between 9 to 16 years of global fossil-fuel CO2 emissions. One of the most profound ways we can advocate for the health of our body and planet is by choosing more plant-based protein sources. Before panic sets in, no, this doesn’t mean you need to forego eating meat altogether. Adding more meatless meals to your diet can positively influence the planet and your health. Even if you were to give up meat for one meal out of the week, it makes a world of a difference. Think of black beans and lentils as alternatives to beef. Utilize more tofu, tempeh, and whole grains like barley, farro, and quinoa into curries, stews, and more.

3. Buy Locally and In-Season When You Can:
Eating locally and seasonally is precisely how it sounds. This practice consists of sticking to what’s being currently grown in your area. If it’s not feasible, you can always utilize frozen foods too, as they are nutritionally more dense, due to how they are processed and stored. This helps ensure we are consuming a variety that’s nutritionally required for a well-rounded diet. This also helps minimize environmental impact since it often requires less transportation, leaving less of a carbon footprint. While eating this way may not be attainable, try going to your local farmer’s markets as they usually have better deals than pricey health food stores.

4. Mitigate Ultra-Processed Foods:
Every single food item is technically processed, but that’s not what we’re talking about here. Ultra-processed foods undergo additional layers of processing to include high amounts of added sugars, fats, flavors, and chemicals to make a food item more palatable. While we’re all aware that these foods certainly don’t contribute to our health, they’re constantly being advertised to kids and the general mass public. These foods are repeatedly linked with chronic diseases and higher mortality risk. More recently, The Lancet published a study verifying the effects of a diet based on ultra-processed foods negatively affecting the planet. These foods include your average snack foods, like chips, crackers, and cookies along with processed meats like beef jerky, hot dogs, and deli meats, for example.

5. Be Mindful Of Your Purchasing Power:
It’s fair to say that there’s a lot of noise in the health and wellness space. Eating for our health and supporting planetary health isn’t always clear. As consumers, we have to be wary of greenwashing practices that are rooted in meaningless promises. While exhausting, it’s crucial to be mindful of the companies and brands you support and choose from those with very transparent initiatives that have the well-being of you and the planet in mind. I know that can sound overly complicated, but now there are a multitude of companies rethinking this very exact issue. Big brands like One Degree Foods, Daily Harvest, and Lundberg Family Farms are great examples of how to create an ecosystem of sustainable eating.

The Takeaway:
With the ever-growing environmental concerns and the incessant need to stay healthy, changing can feel overwhelming and upsetting. Curbing global warming and revising the food system? That sounds impossible. But in short, the reality is that there are various actions we can take daily that not only benefit our bodies but create a healthier planet concurrently. Whether you forego meat for one day out of the week, stock up on frozen fruits and veggies, or shop at your local farmer’s market, these steps add up to an immense amount of change. So let me ask you this, what are you waiting for? Let’s get to cooking and help create a healthier planet together.

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ほぼすべての食品は技術的に処理されていますが、超加工食品は、また話が別です。追加の砂糖、脂肪、フレーバー、および化学物質を追加する多くの加工層を経て、食品をより美味しくします。これらの食品が私たちの健康に貢献しないことは誰もが知っていますが、子供や一般の人々に対して絶えず宣伝されています。これらの食品は、慢性疾患とより高い死亡リスクに関連しています。最近では、The Lancetが、超加工食品に基づく食事の影響を否定的に検証する研究を発表しました。人間の体だけでなく地球にも影響を与えます。これらの食品には、チップス、クラッカー、クッキーなどのスナック食品に加えて、ビーフジャーキー、ホットドッグ、デリミートなどの加工肉が含まれます。

健康やウェルネスの分野には多くの騒音があります。健康のために食事をし、地球の健康をサポートすることには必ずしも明確な指標がありません。消費者として、我々はこの世に根付いているグリーンウォッシングの慣行に注意する必要があります。正しい選択をすることに疲れ果てている場合は、あなたと地球の幸福を念頭に置いた、透明性の高いイニシアチブを持つ企業やブランドから選択することを優先してみてください。それは非常に複雑に聞こえるかもしれませんが、今ではこの問題を誠実に再考している企業が多数あります。 One Degree Foods、Daily Harvest、Lundberg Family Farmsなどの大手ブランドは、持続可能な食事のエコシステムを構築している優れた例です。