The Planetary Health Diet would advocate reducing the consumption of meat and sugar, in exchange for doubling fruit, vegetables, nuts and legumes.
Currently, in a world where the Western Diet dominates almost all areas of general health, the need to increase the consumption of fruits and vegetables, in other foods, is well known. However, ultra-processed products continue to be easier to obtain, given their price and availability in supermarkets, in addition to requiring a less elaborate preparation.
However, this type of diet has shown many damages, and it is clear that it should not last over time. In fact, the Planetary Health Diet should be our new way of eating, according to a recent study published in The Lancet. In this diet, they not only suggest the typical tips already known, but they become more specific: you have to double the general consumption of vegetables, fruits, nuts and legumes, and reduce the consumption of meat and added sugars by half. Otherwise, in the year 2050, it will be impossible to maintain a healthy population in the world.
Planetary Health Diet, or how to avoid more than eleven million deaths a year
According to the results of the researchers, led by Tim Lang, from the University of London, the Planetary Health Diet would be able to prevent 11.6 million premature deaths each year, in addition to being more environmentally sustainable, being able to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and preserving more land, water and biodiversity.
It is currently known that diseases related to eating, such as obesity, malnutrition and various types of cancer, are increasingly prevalent than other pathologies related to unsafe sex or the consumption of toxic substances such as alcohol, tobacco or other drugs.
According to Lang, diet and the ways we produce food determine both the health of humans and the planet in general, and at the moment both situations are in a bad moment, so a generalized review of the global food system would be essential according to the researcher. And that "review" would be the Planetary Health Diet.
How is the Planetary Health Diet?
In the review led by Lang there were up to 37 specialized scientists from 16 different countries. All of them concluded that the global consumption of red meat and added sugars should be reduced by 50% in general, while the consumption of nuts, fruits, vegetables and legumes should double with respect to the average. That would imply drastic changes in the diets of everyone.
According to Walter Willet of Harvard University and lead co-commissioner of this work, currently up to 800 million people lack enough food to survive, while many others consume an unhealthy diet despite having the necessary food to survive. it. In both cases, premature death and diseases derived from eating have been increasing progressively in recent years.
The Planetary Health Diet, according to this study, would allow greater flexibility both at the level of agriculture and in cultural traditions or food preferences, including stricter diets such as vegetarianism and its many variants, up to veganism.
According to this same study, in the United States alone they consume up to 6.5 times more red meat than recommended by the World Health Organization, while in parts of South Asia they only eat half the suggested amount. Currently, these recommendations would imply not consuming more than 200-300 g of red meat a week (2-3 servings of 100 g), although most medical guidelines do not usually differentiate between red meat and processed red meat, and are becoming plus studies that find harm only in processed red meat. In any case, these recommendations should not be generally exceeded at present, at least until the medical guidelines suggest it.
Finally, it is worth remembering other types of diet that resemble, in part, the Planetary Health Diet. One of these more recent cases is known as the " flexitarian diet " which, although it is not a type of vegetarian diet as such, is beginning to be accepted as an "intermediate step" to reduce meat consumption and reach a vegetarian diet. In this type of diet, it is necessary to reduce the consumption of meat, while increasing the consumption of fruits and vegetables on a weekly basis. In fact, just by making such changes, the flexitarian diet has been shown to help you lose weight and reduce the risk of related diseases. The logical conclusion in both cases is the same: less meat and more plant-based products.
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