What does a healthy diet and sustainable plate look like?

Hey there Team!
I hope that you have all had a great week so far. Have you heard about the most recent report published by the very esteemed medical journal The Lancet and EAT? The question they asked was “Can we feed a future population of 10 billion people a healthy diet within planetary boundaries?”

37 experts from 16 different countries worked together, looking at all the hard science, in order to create this report. Based on that science, these experts agreed upon what is the healthiest diet for us, and also for our planet.

[1]EAT is a global, non-profit startup dedicated to transforming our global food system through sound science, impatient disruption and novel partnerships.

The vision of EAT:
 A fair and sustainable global food system for healthy people and planet – leaving no one behind.

So what was their conclusions?
Transformation to healthy diets will includes more than doubling in the consumption of healthy foods such as fruits, vegetables, legumes and nuts, and a greater than 50% reduction in global consumption of less healthy foods such as added sugars and red meat (i.e. primarily by reducing excessive consumption in wealthier countries).

“Food is the single strongest lever to optimize human health and environmental sustainability on Earth.”

A planetary health plate should consist by volume of approximately half a plate of vegetables and fruits; the other half, displayed by contribution to calories, should consist of primarily whole grains, plant protein sources, unsaturated plant oils, and (optionally) modest amounts of animal sources of protein. For further details, please refer to section 1 of the Commission.

Canada has just released new recommendations of what a healthy diet should look like, completely making a U-turn to the typical plate we know from before. Dairy products are no longer recommended, and it’s largely plant based. In a nutshell here is what Canada Health is recommending:

-Eat plenty of vegetables and fruits, whole grain foods and protein foods. Choose protein foods that come from plants more often.
-Choose foods with healthy fats instead of saturated fat

-Limit highly processed foods. If you choose these foods, eat them less often and in small amounts.
-Make water your drink of choice
-Use food labels
-Be aware that food marketing can influence your choices

Dr David Jenkins, the Canada research chair in nutrition and metabolism and a professor at the University of Toronto stated: “I think [the guide] is moving in a plant-based direction, which will ruffle some feathers, but I think that’s the direction it needs to go” [2]

The whole foods that that we eat comes from the land, so it seems pretty straight forward that what is good for the planet, is also very good for our health.

But, we apparently have to be reminded of this. Especially for us living in a Western type lifestyle. We seem to have lost that important connection to the health of the land and the quality of food on our plates. It’s easy to forget when we buy our plastic wrapped products in the supermarket.

My suggestion is to read this report and have a think about it. We all need to do what we can to take better care of our planet and of our health. It is in our hands and now is the time to up the game!

Have a great sustainable weekend!
😉

 



[1]https://eatforum.org/content/uploads/2019/01/EAT-Lancet_Commission_Summary_Report.pdf?fbclid=IwAR2wdrVXCzFQk6rFgPldhJj6pZLGY6RUGvm447_v3dXZmICL5t2_dq1sccw
[2]https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-46964549

https://food-guide.canada.ca/en/
https://nationalpost.com/health/health-canada-new-food-guide-2019

Downloadable link to the summary of the report in many different languages:

EAT-Lancet Commission Summary Report

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