According to recent research, the keto diet, a low-carb, high-fat eating plan detested by nutritionists, is not only bad for your body but also bad for the environment. It is the worst diet for both your body and the planet.
The ketogenic diet is one of six popular eating regimens ranked by Tulane University researchers in terms of their average nutritional value and impact on the environment. Healthy eating was found to be associated with lower carbon emissions, according to their findings, which were published on March 1 in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
The daily diets of more than 16,000 adults surveyed between 2005 and 2010 were taken into consideration by the researchers, even though the study did not cover every diet trend. The individual data were then divided into six diet groups: vegan, vegetarian, pescetarian, omnivore, and keto diets.
They found that the normal keto eater produces very nearly 3 kg of carbon dioxide for each 1,000 calories consumed — that is multiple times the carbon impression of a comparably estimated vegetarian plate.
“A lot of people are interested in moving to a plant-based diet,” senior author Diego Rose, nutrition program director at Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, stated in a press release. “Climate change is arguably one of the most pressing problems of our time.” That would be healthier overall and reduce your carbon footprint, according to our findings.”
A 2021 study supported by the United Nations found that food systems were responsible for more than one third of global emissions of greenhouse gases.
Since adhering to the ketogenic diet necessitates getting about 70% of one’s calories from fat and almost no carbohydrates, many people choose animal products that are high in fat and protein.
Since the production of beef is a major source of carbon emissions, the researchers were not surprised that the keto diet had the highest carbon footprint of the diets that were investigated.
Paleo, a diet based on what people thought they ate before farming, followed the keto diet. Lean meats replace grains and legumes in the diet; The paleo plate also includes nuts, seeds, fruits, and vegetables. The ancient diet plan was linked to consuming 2.6 kilograms of carbon dioxide for every 1,000 calories.
Veganism, on the other hand, was found to be associated with the least amount of emissions of greenhouse gases. Vegetarian and pescetarian diets were other low-emission diets.
How to eat better for your body and the environment The majority of those surveyed were classified as omnivores, which means they consume a variety of animals and plants. In the end, the omnivore category was chosen as a middle ground option for sustainability and nutrition. However, not all omnivore diets are the same.
When compared to the other members of the group, the Mediterranean diet—which calls for a colorful mix of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, healthy fats, and lean protein—had a higher nutritional quality and a smaller carbon footprint. The same was true for the DASH diet, which is a heart-healthy plan that doesn’t eat red meat. Pescetarians, who eat fish but not red or white meat, scored the highest on the Healthy Eating Index, which measures how much nutrition a daily diet provides. The study, however, asserts that omitting all meat and fish will have a significant negative impact on the environment.
Although individual diet choices have no individual impact on the environment, a widespread switch to meat-free eating would be beneficial to the environment. The researchers came to the conclusion that if just a third of the omnivores in the study switched to a vegetarian diet, it would mean cutting out 340 million daily passenger vehicle miles.
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