Plants: good for our health & our planet
With KIND’s Registered Dietician Orlaith Danaher
We are now considering both the health & environmental impact of foods we choose to put on our plates. The EAT-Lancet commission, an international organisation who have defined targets for sustainable food production, have described food as ‘the single strongest lever to optimise human health & environmental sustainability on Earth’.
There is no arguing eating more plants is good for our health. Plant-based diets tend to be low in saturated fat, high in fibre & rich in vitamins & minerals. Research has shown associations of plant-based eating with reduced risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, as well as lowered LDL cholesterol & blood pressure.
It is also true that certain foods can impact the environment. The production of animal-based foods tends to have higher greenhouse gas emissions than producing plant-based foods.
The Planetary Health Diet outlined by the EAT-Lancet Commission shows a new plate model; half a plate of fruits & vegetables. The other half consists of primarily whole grains, plant proteins (nuts, seeds, beans, lentils, pulses), unsaturated plant oils, modest amounts of meat, fish, dairy & starchy carbohydrate and some added sugars.
The best thing about the planetary health diet is that it doesn’t cut out food groups. While the focus is on eating a primarily plant based, animal-based foods in moderate amounts still play an important role. For red meat, it’s a burger a week or a large steak a month, chicken, fish & eggs are recommended twice a week & dairy 250g a day, which is about a glass of milk or similar portion of yogurt & cheese.
At KIND we believe small acts can change the world – that if we collectively make small changes, we can have a big impact on our surrounding environment. We have a lot more work to do in this space & hope to bring you on the journey of making the world a better place.
For more information on the planetary health diet, visit: