Plant based diet could be the best option for the planet says commission

An international team has devised the best possible diet for the planet and it seems that the diet is mainly plant based. The team met to devise a diet for the people of the world that would not only be nutritious but also help save the environment.

The diet called the “planetary health diet” draws up guidelines to provide nutrition to the billions of people living across the world. The diet also considers the problem of supply and the role of farming and livestock in its compilation. Farming and livestock management and the food industry in general has an impact on the natural resources, wild life, forests and the climate and this has also been addressed in the diet that has been devised for the planet.

According to researchers, if this diet is adopted, it would save 11 million people around the world from deaths due to unhealthy diets and also save the natural world from exploitation. The team and other experts believe that by 2050 the population of the earth would reach 10 billion. This would mean that if this unhealthy diet continues, it would be detrimental for the health of not only the world’s population but also for the nature with problems of the climate including global warming. They speculate at present there are 800 million of the population around the world suffer from lack of food and 2 billion are malnourished. On the other hand 2 billion people around the world are obese.

The commission was convened by the Lancet medical journal along with an NGO called the Eat Forum. It was led by Walter Willett at Harvard University along with others. The final report is published in The Lancet. The report would be launched by policymakers across 40 cities all over the world. The team also wants halve food waste to 15 percent. Prof Johan Rockström at the Stockholm Resilience Centre, Sweden, one of the authors of the report said, “Humanity now poses a threat to the stability of the planet…[This requires] nothing less than a new global agricultural revolution.” The report says that the farm produce in the poor countries needs to be improved.

The diet primarily focusses on cutting down the consumption of sugar and red meats by half of what is now being consumed by the population. On the other hand consumption of fruits, vegetables, nuts, pulses and other plant based foods need to be consumed double the amount of what is being eaten now. Some of the recommendations are specific for specific regions. For example looking at the current diet pattern of the people living in North America, they need to consume 84 percent less red meat and six times more lentils, pulses and beans. Among Europeans, diet needs to be shorn of by 77 percent of red meat and there has to be a 15 times increase in seeds and nuts to meet the current guidelines.

This new diet would contain an average of 2,500 calories a day. This means if one beef burger is allowed per week, it can allow another two servings of fish. Most of the protein comes from nuts and pulses. A glass of milk, butter and cheese is allowed along with one or two eggs. Half of the plate contains fruits and vegetables. One third of the plate contains cereals.


Dr. Ananya Mandal

Written by

Dr. Ananya Mandal

Dr. Ananya Mandal is a doctor by profession, lecturer by vocation and a medical writer by passion. She specialized in Clinical Pharmacology after her bachelor's (MBBS). For her, health communication is not just writing complicated reviews for professionals but making medical knowledge understandable and available to the general public as well.


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