A healthy diet for humans turned out to be friendly to the global environment
Daily diets are known to create a healthy body and reduce the risk of various diseases. On the other hand, in recent years it has been actively said that it is possible to deal with global problems by changing meals, such as the assertion that it is better not to eat meat to protect the global environment . Research has shown that “a healthy diet for humans is a friendly diet to the global environment”.
Multiple health and environmental impacts of foods | PNAS
World-First Analysis Clearly Shows Healthier Diets Are Also Better For The Planet
A research team at the University of Minnesota conducted research to evaluate how certain foods affect human health and the global environment. Until now, researchers have never compared various foods for both health and the environment.
The research team surveyed chicken, dairy products, eggs, fish, fruits, legumes, nuts, olive oil, potatoes, processed red meat, raw red meat, whole grains, and refined grains・ 15 food groups such as sugar-containing beverages and vegetables. For each of these foods, there are five environment-related items such as “greenhouse gas emissions”, “land use”, “water use”, “environmental acidification”, “environmental eutrophication”, and “diabetes” We evaluated five health-related items such as “stroke”, “heart disease”, “colon cancer”, and “mortality”.
The health risks of food were assessed by “how much the risk increases when added to the average intake of people”. The team also said that the assessment of environmental impacts took into account the impact of areas such as food transport, processing and retailing.
As a result of the analysis, the research team found that foods rated as “healthy” such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes, and grains tend to be “hazardous to the environment”. On the other hand, it was found that processed and unprocessed red meat, which was evaluated as bad for health, had a greater negative impact on the environment than other foods. Even with food from the same animal, eggs, dairy products, and chicken are relatively good for the health and the environment.
The food that the research team lists as an exception is “fish,” which is good for health, but the negative impact on the environment by catching fish is evaluated to be greater than food derived from plants. It was. Sugar-containing beverages are not good for human health, but they seem to have little negative impact on the environment.
“This study shows that a healthy diet is a more sustainable diet,” says David Tilman , an environmental scientist at the University of Minnesota. Pointed out that it is also useful.
Michael Clark, who studies the food system at the University of Oxford , is the person who led this research and claims that the impact on the environment will change significantly by moving from meat-based to plant-based diets based on the research results doing. “Where and how food is produced changes the impact on the environment, but the impact is small compared to the choice of which food to eat,” Clark said. .