17 January 2019

New 'planetary health diet' would cut 11 million premature deaths by 2050

Scientists have unveiled what is allegedly the 'ideal diet' for both the health of the planet and its people, but what does it involve? Double the consumption of nuts, fruits, vegetables and legumes, and halve that of meat and sugar intake.

According to the experts, the 'Planetary health diet ’ would prevent millions of deaths a year and avoid climate change. 

The Eat-Lancet Commission, a group of 37 health experts, has spent two years compiling the "planetary health diet", which they claim is the healthiest and most sustainable food plan for everyone in the world.

This is a flexitarian diet, which is largely plant-based but can optionally include modest amounts of fish, meat and dairy foods.

They say it could cut premature deaths globally by 11 million and help feed the growing worldwide population which is due to reach 10 billion by 2050.

The planetary health diet is largely plant-based and allows an average of 2,500 calories a day. It allows one beef burger and two servings of fish a week, but most protein comes from pulses and nuts. A glass of milk a day, or some cheese or butter, fits within the guidelines, as does an egg or two a week. Half of each plate of food under the diet is vegetables and fruit, and a third is wholegrain cereals.

“More than 800 million people have insufficient food, while many more consume an unhealthy diet that contributes to premature death and disease,” said Walter Willett of Harvard University in the United States.

“If we can’t quite make it, it’s better to try and get as close as we can,” he said.

What do you think? Could you adopt this diet? 

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