The amazing twelve: 12 recommendations for a healthy and sustainable diet

The amazing twelve: 12 recommendations for a healthy and sustainable diet

October 05, 2018

The amazing twelve: 12 recommendations for a healthy and sustainable diet

The FAO recommendations are easy to follow, and they are the perfect recipe for a sustainable diet with low environmental impact

Sustainable diets are those that feature low environmental impact and contribute to nutritional and food safety. This is the conclusion of the FAO, which also states that sustainable diets respect ecosystems and biodiversity, as well as being accessible and economically fair; healthy and safe for both people and the planet, a sustainable diet is an easy road to take. You just need to follow a few simple rules: 

1. Choose plant-based foods: this is brilliant advice not just for health reasons, but also because it points to a sustainable diet, greatly reducing the environmental impact of food production.

2. Eat a varied range of foods: make sure you also please the eye, with a colorful plate of food that helps ensuring a variety of foods reach the table. A varied plate on the table means variety in agriculture.

3. Eat five portions of fruit and vegetables every day, not just as a side dish. In a healthy, sustainable diet, fruits and vegetables are the perfect choice for a snack, even for young children.

4. Prefer seasonal, local products: knowing your local food not only enables you to buy the freshest and tastiest food, but is also key to sustainable agriculture and a sustainable economy, which enables savings.


5. Use fresh ingredients, whenever possible: this helps reduce needless packaging, at home and when eating out. Another way to favor a sustainable diet, reducing the environmental impact of distribution.

6. Reduce consumption of packaged food: these foods are especially rich in sugars, fats and salt, as indicated in the nutritional information labels, hence they are not considered sustainable foods for your health.

7. Increase your intake of wholewheat grains: wholewheat rice, barley, oat, corn and rye have high nutritional benefits, they help prevent cancer and cardio-vascular disease and they require less work, hence less energy and water to produce the same amount of food.

8. Avoid sugary drinks: drinking sodas and fruit juice instead of water is associated with weight gain in the long term, it is therefore not recommended for a sustainable diet.

9. Increase your intake of pulses: a moderate consumption of pulses is a great way to adopt a sustainable diet, because it provides fibers and substitutes animal proteins with plant-based ones, benefiting the environment. 


10. Reduce consumption of red and processed meat: choose other sources of proteins, such as pulses or walnuts, for a sustainable diet. Rearing animals for meat is one of the farming businesses with the highest environmental impact.

11. Buy fish from sustainable sellers: this helps protect marine flora and fauna, increasingly threatened by overfishing.

12. Look for products that come from free-range farms and pastures: consumer choices also have an impact on the quality of life of the animals we use for food.

Find out more about Food and sustainability

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