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A new planetary health diet has been developed that promises to save lives, feed 10 billion people, all without causing more harm to the planet.

An international team of scientists has developed a diet it says can improve health while ensuring sustainable food production to reduce further damage to the planet. According to the researchers of the report in the medical journal The Lancet, the new diet can prevent up to 11.6 million premature deaths without harming the planet.

The “planetary health diet” is based on cutting red meat and sugar consumption in half and upping intake of fruits, vegetables and nuts.

Globally, the diet requires red meat and sugar consumption to be cut by half, while vegetables, fruit, pulses and nuts must double. But in specific places the changes are stark. North Americans need to eat 84% less red meat but six times more beans and lentils. For Europeans, eating 77% less red meat and 15 times more nuts and seeds meets the guidelines.

The authors warn that a global change in diet and food production is needed as 3 billion people across the world are malnourished – which includes those who are under and overnourished – and food production is overstepping environmental targets, driving climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution.

“The world’s diets must change dramatically,” says Walter Willett at Harvard University and one of the leaders of the commission convened by the mediacl journal and the Eat Forum NGO. The report is said to be launched to policymakers in 40 cities around the world, concluding that food waste must be halved to 15%.

“Humanity now poses a threat to the stability of the planet,” says Prof Johan Rockström at the Stockholm Resilience Centre, Sweden, another author of the report. “[This requires] nothing less than a new global agricultural revolution.” Farm yields in poorer nations must be improved to create a sustainable, healthy world, the report found.

So what does the diet look like on your plate?

The planetary health diet is largely plant-based and allows an average of 2,500 calories a day. It allows one beef burger and two servings of fish a week, but most protein comes from pulses and nuts. A glass of milk a day, or some cheese or butter, fits within the guidelines, as does an egg or two a week.Half of each plate of food under the diet is vegetables and fruit, and a third is wholegrain cereals.

Can you change your dietary habits to better your health and save the planet?

Research source: MindFood


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