What do I have to do to follow the planetary diet?


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The ‘flexitarian’ diet is a proposal of the UN to save lives without harming our planet. But apart from its benefits it brings with it a problem: it is not affordable for all budgets.

These are the keys to the UN plan to fight climate change.

What is the planetary diet?

The planetary or ‘flexitarian’ diet seeks to reduce the contribution of the food system to climate change, since it accounts for 30% of the total global greenhouse gas emissions, while ensuring people’s health. It was designed a couple of years ago by the medical journal ‘The Lancet’ and the EAT Foundation.

What can you eat?

It recommends the consumption of 2,500 kcal / day and is based on increasing the intake of fruits, vegetables, nuts and legumes, and small portions of meat and dairy. A lot of whole grain is also consumed: rice, wheat, corn …

How is it different from the consumption of the average Spanish?

“The Spanish population consumes a large amount of meat and fish, and is somewhat short on legumes, nuts, fruits, vegetables and whole grains. To get closer to flexitarianism and thus have a better consideration for the environment, we should reduce the consumption of meat and fish, and increase plant-based foods that are a good source of protein as a whole, such as legumes, nuts, and cereals. comprehensive, “says Eduard Baladía, member of the General Council of Dietitians-Nutritionists of Spain. Also Montserrat Royo, from SemFYC, points out that today “ultra-processed foods, foods packaged in plastic and products of animal origin are the kings. Looking at the label and the origin of these foods, as well as verifying whether or not they are ultra-processed would be the first step ”.

Can you buy, for example, pot gazpacho?

«A gazpacho with local ingredients and packaged in glass would be a great alternative. The best thing would be to buy in bulk and cook at home, but we know that it is not always possible, ”says Royo. “If what we want is to reduce the carbon footprint, we should try to favor the consumption of foods that are little processed and of proximity, to avoid that the processing or transport has a negative impact on the planet,” says Baladía.

How much meat can you eat?

Consumption of foods such as red meat and sugar should be reduced by more than 50%. A healthy and sustainable diet supposes 300 grams of meat per week, adding red and poultry. In Spain we consume more than 250 grams a day.

Does this plan mean saying goodbye to potato chips?

Maybe a see you later, rather. From time to time, ultra-processed products can be consumed but we will opt for cans in the form of cans. We need 20% flexibility to achieve 80% success in the plan ”, says Royo.

Can you have chocolate?

“Chocolate is not a product of our territory, it is always imported, but there is more and more high-percentage dark chocolate that ensures sustainability and fair prices to its producers. Even so, there is a little-known alternative: the carob, “says Royo.

Do you lose weight by following the planetary diet?

“When the consumption of vegetables is increased, a quality protein source is ensured in each meal and the ultra-processed ones are removed, the loss of fat percentage is a frequent ‘side effect’. But nutrition is only part of it, let’s remember movement and training, rest, stress management … », says Royo.

Refined grains, saturated fat are also limited … For a person who wants a pizza, what options would you recommend?

Rayo gives the answer: «You can make a homemade pizza dough, with a vegan or local cheese, with seasonal vegetables, spices and nutritional yeast. With these ingredients the result can be an equally delicious pizza.

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