Have you ever heard of the concept of “sustainable diet”?
Environmental pollution is a very worrying global problem. Gas emissions and waste products may condition the survival of humans as a species in the coming decades. For this reason, a number of measures are being implemented. Some of them are associated with our diet.
In this article, we will talk about a sustainable diet. In addition to ensuring proper body function, it also takes into account the origin of the food and the environmental impact of its production.
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Sustainable diet: A respectful diet model
First, one of the primary goals of a sustainable diet, as described in an article published in The Proceedings of the Nutrition Society, is to reduce the ecological footprint of humans on the planet. This consists of using less energy and chemicals for livestock and agriculture.
In addition , it speaks in favor of buying local food, which reduces the cost of fuel for international transportation. By following a number of very basic guidelines, we can significantly reduce gas emissions.
On the other hand , this dietary model prioritizes the intake of products of vegetable origin. After all, their rate of renewal is higher than that of foods of animal origin. It therefore does not affect the impact on nature’s food chains so much to consume them.
In this way, we can also help avoid the extinction of species that are exposed to over-consumption and over-exploitation of resources.
Sustainable and health
However, do not think that a sustainable diet only takes care of the environment. In fact, a sustainable diet also has a myriad of health benefits.
Intake of fruits and vegetables is associated with improved metabolic functions. A review of studies published in 2017 actually linked intake of vegetable products positively with reduction in the risk of developing cardiovascular disease.
This is partly due to the supply of flavonoids from fruits and vegetables. Flavonoids are antioxidant and anti-inflammatory components that are found in nature in small proportions.
In fact, flavonoids are often pigments that are responsible for giving foods their color. According to research compiled in the Journal of Medicinal Food , they are able to reduce the risk of developing neurological diseases such as Parkinson’s.
Fewer processed foods, a sustainable diet
As we have seen, a sustainable diet defends the intake of local products with a low degree of industrial processing. This limits the intake of foods that have been subjected to a prolonged processing that involves a high consumption of energy.
These ultra-processed processes are also responsible for the development of many complex diseases. For example, there is diabetes. This endemic disease is associated with regular intake of sweet foods rich in added sugar.
In fact, a systemic review from 2017 shows that regular intake of these foods affects metabolic health.
However, your metabolism is not the only part of the body that will benefit from this change in your diet. Your cardiovascular system will also thank you. This is because eating vegetables reduces the risk of heart problems.
This limitation of ultra-processed foods is also able to exert this effect. Experts say that foods rich in trans fats are primarily responsible for the systemic inflammation that causes atherosclerosis, which has negative consequences for blood circulation.
A sustainable diet improves the local economy
Lastly, it is also important to emphasize that a sustainable diet is beneficial to the local economy. Intake of local products actually increases the income of small producers.
In this way , the presence of multinational companies, which are responsible for poor working conditions and wages, is reduced. Sustainable diet therefore not only improves health and respects the environment, but it is also able to help livestock and farmers.
Stick to this healthy, respectful and sustainable diet
Now that you know what a sustainable diet consists of and what its benefits are, you should consider trying it. Not only is it good for your health, but it also respects the environment and the rights of many employees.
Overall, this diet model will help prevent inequality and extinction of animal species. If that was not enough, then it can also reduce the risk of developing complex disorders associated with an unhealthy diet.
In short, the next time you need to shop, choose a local store over a large chain. Also check food labels for more information on the method of producing the food.
Increase your intake of local and organic vegetables!