Health Update: Start Your New Year by Choosing Organic

Hey everyone:

A great way to kick off the New Year is by committing to a mostly organic whole-foods plan. If you are looking for the ‘why’ as to why you should eat to optimize your health and the planet at the same time, then this article that I am sharing is totally worth the read. Here are some excerpts:

Unhealthy diets contributed to more deaths globally in 2017 than any other factor, including smoking2As the world’s population continues to rise and more people start to eat like Westerners do, the production of meat, dairy and eggs will need to rise by about 44% by 2050, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).           That (increased production of meat, dairy, and eggs) poses an environmental problem alongside the health concerns. Our current industrialized food system already emits about one-quarter of the world’s greenhouse-gas emissions. It also accounts for 70% of freshwater use and 40% of land coverage, and relies on fertilizers that disrupt the cycling of nitrogen and phosphorus and are responsible for much of the pollution in rivers and coasts3.

In 2019, a consortium of 37 nutritionists, ecologists and other experts from 16 countries— the EAT–Lancet Commission on Food, Planet, Health — released a report4that called for a broad dietary change that would take into account both nutrition and the environment. A person following the EAT–Lancet reference diet would be ‘flexitarian’, eating plants on most days and occasionally a small amount of meat or fish.                    “We need to make progress toward eating diets that have dramatically lower ecological footprints, or it’ll be a matter of a few decades before we start to see global collapses of biodiversity, land use and all of it,” says Sam Myers, director of the Planetary Health Alliance, a global consortium in Boston, Massachusetts, that studies the health impacts of environmental change.”

Bottom Line: Now is a great time to convert to a predominantly plant-based food plan that will not only improve your overall health, lower inflammation, and slow aging, it will also assist our precious planetary ecology in the right way. Organic, unprocessed, whole-foods meet the definition of what we can all thrive on.

“Nutritionists reviewed the literature to craft a basic healthy diet composed of whole foods. Then the team set environmental limits for the diet, including carbon emissions, biodiversity loss and the use of fresh water, land, nitrogen, and phosphorus. Breaching such environmental limits could make the planet inhospitable to humans.    They ended up with a diverse and mainly plant-based meal plan (see ‘Healthy eating’). The maximum red meat the 2,500-calorie per day diet allows in a week for an average-weight 30-year-old is 100 grams, or one serving of red meat. That’s less than one-quarter of what a typical American consumes. Ultra-processed foods, such as soft drinks, frozen dinners and reconstituted meats, sugars and fats are mostly avoided.”

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