What is the most sustainable diet?22.01.21
We’re all more concerned about sustainability these days. From disposable fashion to plastic waste, we’re waking up to the need to make sure our lifestyle has a low environmental impact.
But while you might be making sustainable choices in what you wear and how you shop, is your diet sustainable? Are you making healthy, low impact eating choices? And what is the most sustainable way to nourish yourself and the planet? Read on and find out.
What is a sustainable diet?
What we eat can have a positive impact on our own health and the health of the planet. But choosing unsustainable foods can be damaging for the environment.
A sustainable diet should be healthy and safe for both people and the planet. Sounds easy doesn’t it? But in practice a lot of the foods we crave can have negative consequences. If you want to start eating sustainably try these tips:
- Reduce consumption of processed foods: processed fats and sugars aren’t good for your health and the packaging and processing isn’t great for the planet either
- Choose plant based foods like our plant based healthy meal prep
- Eat a varied, seasonal diet. This encourages farmers to grow more varieties, which is great for biodiversity
- Use fresh ingredients wherever possible to reduce the need for packaging
- Increase your intake of wholewheat grains and pulses that reduce the need for animal protein and are less intensive to grow
What foods are sustainable?
So what are the most sustainable foods you can choose? Look out for foods that are produced in a way that has a low environmental impact. Shop locally to reduce food miles. And always choose meat that has been humanely reared.
There are massive benefits to going sustainable with your diet. Not just in health terms – sustainable food minimises greenhouse gases, reduces the use of harmful chemicals and preservatives and reduces food waste.
Look out for fresh, local produce at your local farmer’s market or a good meal prep delivery service which cuts the waste and packaging. At KBK, we use 95% plastic-free packaging that keeps our food fresh and reduces the waste we produce.
Buy bulk items from waste free shops – some supermarkets are also beginning to introduce bulk buying where you can use your own containers.
If you can’t cut your food miles, buy Fairtrade products like tea, coffee and bananas. And never bag up produce that you buy – use a reusable shopping bag to cut plastic waste instead.
Five sustainable food heroes
Ready to make the switch? Here’s what to choose next time you shop or choose meal prep delivery:
Swapping beef for beans has plenty of benefits. It could help us meet greenhouse gas reduction targets. It frees up cattle pasture for other crops. And, if you don’t buy high quality meat you could be supporting unsustainable farming methods that are often linked to deforestation.
Beans are a great source of healthy fibre, vitamins and minerals. Try swapping that midweek quarter pounder for a bean burger or try a mixed bean chilli sin carne.
This nutritional powerhouse is also super sustainable. Broccoli creates its own natural pesticides, is low in calories and packed with antioxidants and vitamins C and K. Broccoli is great steamed, stir fried, roasted and sauteed, making it incredibly tasty and versatile. Try an Essentials Box packed with everything you need to create nutritional, immune boosting meals.
Delicious and nutritious, mussels are a great source of animal protein. They also have limited environmental impact as they filter and clean the water and use carbon to create their shells.
There are hundreds of varieties of figs worldwide, each one at the centre of its own ecosystem. Figs are packed with vitamins A and K which contribute to good health. They’re also rich in minerals and fibre and are great when you crave a healthy sweet treat.
Tomatoes are incredibly easy to grow at home in pots or window boxes and have a low carbon footprint and incredible taste. They’re packed with vitamins C and K, potassium, folate, and lycopene which can reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease.
What is the most sustainable diet?
If you’re looking for a more sustainable diet long-term, then these are the best eating plans to follow:
Studies show that cutting meat out of your diet can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 34%. In fact stopping eating meat could have a bigger environmental impact than not using your car.
Just make sure you eat as wide a variety of veg and grains as possible and supplement with B12 if necessary. Be aware that soybeans and some fruit and veg consume plenty of water so limit your consumption or only eat them in season.
If you find plant based eating too tough to follow then there’s good news. The Planetary Health diet is a flexitarian approach to eating healthy and sustainably that lets you have a limited intake of animal proteins and starchy foods.
This type of diet has many of the advantages of going plant based but can be easier to follow. Our get lean meal prep for weight loss is packed with healthy and high quality lean animal protein from chicken and fish which scores well on the sustainability scale. All our meat comes from UK farms, so you don’t have to worry about hidden food miles!
This diet emphasises eating plenty of fruits and vegetables with fish and healthy oils. Packed with antioxidants, this diet is packed with health benefits including minimising the risk of heart disease.
Don’t expect to find highly processed foods – this diet is all about eating seasonally and locally which makes it great for sustainability, wellbeing and healthy weight loss.
Eat sustainably with KBK
Healthy, nutritious, bursting with flavour – that’s the ethos of KBK. And because our healthy meal prep choices use plenty of high quality fruit and vegetables and lean animal proteins they’re sustainable too.
Our ethically sourced meal prep delivery service is better for you and better for the planet! So why not contact us today to start your sustainable diet?