Discover five effective ways to transform your diet into a sustainable and healthier one. Learn how to make greener food choices and improve your overall well-being.
Adopting a greener and healthier diet has become increasingly important in today’s world. According to the UN, our food systems are responsible for over one-third of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions caused by human activity. These emissions encompass production processes, livestock raising, rice cultivation, emissions from fluorinated greenhouse gasses in refrigeration, packaging, and many more.
A greener diet is healthier for the planet and your body because it entails consuming fewer processed foods and animal products while upping your fruit and vegetable intake. As a lifestyle modification, a greener diet can also serve as a good motivation for weight loss because it can be easily sustained over a long period of time and you will be able to find healthier alternatives to your favorite foods. It only teaches you moderation and food substitution so that you can enjoy your meals while still keeping to your goals of a green and healthy diet.
In this article, we will explore five practical ways to make your diet greener and healthier, providing specific recipes and ingredients to help you get started.
Embrace Plant-Based Substitutes
The UN notes that meat and dairy specifically account for around 14.5% of global GHG emissions. Thankfully, it is easy to increase your protein intake while reducing your carbon footprint. Simply incorporate more legumes like lentils, chickpeas, and beans into your diet and explore recipes for plant-based protein alternatives. Consider meatless versions of your favorite dishes, such as vegetable stir-fries or black bean burgers.
Craving for sweets? No problem! Our collection of 40 plant-based desserts is gluten-free and vegan. You can enjoy everything from no-bake desserts to pudding and ice cream recipes, especially knowing that each dish is lighter for your body and the environment.
Opt for Local and Seasonal Produce
Instead of buying food that’s imported using large shipping vessels, you can reduce carbon emissions by choosing locally sourced and seasonal produce. This produce is often cheaper and fresher, and buying from the farmers’ market in bulk or towards the end of the day is a great tip for saving money on food. This encourages you to cook fresh meals from scratch more often, which have been scientifically proven to be more nutritious and effective for weight loss than eating outside.
Emphasize Whole Foods
Whole foods improve your nutritional intake. At the same time, they reduce waste because they are less likely to come in metal or plastic packaging, as most processed food does. Pick out whole fruits and vegetables instead of canned goods, and opt for whole grains like oats, quinoa, or whole wheat bread.
Emphasizing whole foods also helps cut down your sodium intake. For more flavor, herbs and spices can be incorporated into different dishes. See how, even without meat, a Buddha Bowl is a delicious and balanced meal that you can fill with a variety of colorful vegetables and healthy fats. A homemade tahini dressing completes the dish and can even be used for many other recipes.
Reduce Food Waste
Reducing food waste preserves our natural resources and avoids additional costs of disposal. One of the easiest ways to do this is by planning your meals in advance to avoid overbuying.
Meal planning is also a great way to ensure you are fulfilling your daily nutritional intake because you can prep large batches of healthy dishes on the weekend to consume throughout the week. These freezer meals can encompass anything from creamy green lentil dahl to vegetable lasagna, as long as they are stored properly in airtight containers.
Adopting a greener and healthier diet is doable and enjoyable. Plus, with the right effort, we can benefit our own well-being and also contribute to the overall health of our planet.