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The Planetary Health Diet: A path to personal and environmental well-being

paleo diets

As we strive for a healthier lifestyle, the Planetary Health Diet emerges as a dual purpose eating plan designed to improve individual health and the well-being of our planet. This diet, emphasizing plant-based foods with moderate meat and dairy, has been linked to a 30% reduction in the risk of premature death, according to a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

What is the Planetary Health Diet?

Originating from a 2019 report by the EAT-Lancet Commission and published in The Lancet, the Planetary Health Diet recommends a predominantly plant-based diet to support a growing global population sustainably. Renowned experts like Walter Willett, M.D., from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, endorse this diet for its potential to improve personal health and reduce environmental impact, including greenhouse gas emissions and land use.

What to eat on the Planetary Health Diet

Adherents of the Planetary Health Diet should focus on:

  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Whole grains
  • Legumes
  • Nuts

While the diet includes meat and dairy, it recommends these in significantly lower quantities. A balanced plate on this diet would feature half fruits and vegetables, a quarter of whole grains, and a quarter of plant-based proteins, with minimal portions for dairy and animal proteins.

Foods to minimize

While the Planetary Health Diet is inclusive, it advises minimizing red meat, sugar, and refined grains to promote optimal health and environmental sustainability.

Health benefits of the Planetary Health Diet

Nutritionists recognize this diet as a healthy eating plan, offering a good nutrient balance and protection against cardiovascular diseases and cancer. By emphasizing whole and minimally processed foods, the diet can also benefit weight management when portion sizes, particularly of calorie-dense foods like nuts and seeds, are controlled.

Weight loss potential

Transitioning to the Planetary Health Diet may lead to weight loss, especially for those previously consuming high-calorie, saturated fat-rich diets. However, weight loss is not guaranteed and depends on individual dietary habits and portion control.

Starting the Planetary Health Diet

For those interested in adopting this diet, experts suggest a gradual approach, focusing on increasing your intake of recommended foods, which will naturally reduce the consumption of less desirable ones.

With its foundation in plant-based eating and allowance for moderate animal products, the Planetary Health Diet is a flexible and sustainable approach to eating that benefits both personal health and the environment.