When looking at diets it’s often for weight-loss and longevity, but why do we ignore the environmental impacts? It’s time we break down why some of the most popular diets are actually the worst.
There are so many diets out there it’s hard to keep up. And while one might be perfect for one person, there’s a very high chance it’s not right for another.
When we say the “worst” diets, we’re looking at it from a holistic point of view. It’s not just about the nutritional value or calorie count, it’s about the environmental impact too.
A team of nutrition scientists at Tulane University followed the eating patterns of more than 16,000 American adults over a period of 24 hours and categorised them into six core diets.
Vegan – plant based Vegetarian – plant based with the addition of animal proteins, minus the meat Pescatarian – rich in plant and seafood Omnivore – meat-heavy, with elements of the Mediterranean diet Keto – high in fat, moderate in protein, low in carbohydrates Paleo – high in meat, fruit and vegetables, low in grains, legumes and dairy
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Of the 16,000 participants, omnivores made up 86.3 per cent of the group, then there were vegetarians at 7.5 per cent, pescatarians 4.7 per cent, vegans 0.7 per cent, keto 0.4 per cent and paleo 0.3 per cent.
“Climate change continues to be a growing threat to the health and sustainability of the world’s populations,” the study explained. “The current food system contributes substantially to these environmental problems.
“Of particular interest is how changes in these food systems could contribute to both population health and environmental sustainability in the future, with dietary choices being a key determining factor.”
Again, not surprisingly, “Previous research has shown that plant-based diets, such as vegetarian or vegan diets, are responsible for lower greenhouse gas emissions than meat-based diets.”
The study found that the lowest carbon footprint diets were vegan in first place, followed by vegetarian and pescatarian, while the highest footprints were omnivore, paleo and the highest,…