What if you were told that there now exists a diet which can improve not only our health but the planet’s deteriorating conditions as well? You would probably say that it’s too good to be true. Well, it actually is true and it will do a whole lot of good for the people and the planet.
So, you must be wondering who came up with this diet. The people behind this miraculous diet regime are a group of 37 scientists from around the world who were brought together as part of the EAT-Lancet commission.
Just like a well-balanced meal that consists of various food groups, these scientists are a well-balanced group of experts that hail from different backgrounds like farming, climate change and nutrition. They worked hard for two years, studying every tiny detail and creating a diet plan that is essential to the planet’s future. Their efforts, that have been published in the Lancet, are expected to be able to satiate around 10 billion people across the globe. That’s right 10 BILLION PEOPLE, even though the population is supposed to be around 7.7 billion, as of a census study in 2011. So, why have the scientists developed a diet plan for 10 billion people? That’s because the population is expected to reach that number by 2050 and is expected to keep growing.
Now for the billion-dollar question. Will it save lives? In a word, yes! Researchers say that the diet will prevent about 11 million people dying each year. Through their efforts, scientists aim to reduce this number that is largely down to diseases born through unhealthy diets such as heart attacks, strokes and cancers which are now the biggest killers in developed countries.
These remarkable scientists have been scratching their heads in order to create a perfectly balanced diet and now their efforts could be fruitful for the entire world. But, as with all good things, it comes with a cost – a simple yet difficult cost that requires a lot of discipline on our parts.
So, what are these supposed sacrifices that we will have to make? Let’s start with the meat lovers, especially those who regularly satisfy their meat cravings. With regards to red meat, you would be restricted to a burger a week and a large steak a month. While this may sound challenging, you can always substitute red meat with chicken or fish. The more recommended option for your protein intake would be to feast on generous servings of nuts and legumes (beans, chickpeas, and lentils).
For those with a sweet tooth, fruits are an exceptional option and it is advisable to eat at least five servings of fruits a day. The reason for this is because fruits, in general, have very low amounts of fat, sodium and calories which makes them the ideal snack time indulgence. Fruits also come packed with essential nutrients like potassium, vitamin C, folic acid and dietary fibre that are not present in other food items and provide valuable health benefits.
Vegetables should also be incorporated into your daily diet. In fact, you should have a serving of veggies in every meal that you eat. A great way to do this is to make a side salad consisting of carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes, lettuce, etc. They are a great source of nutrients and also require little to no time to prepare. It is suggested to go easy on the potato intake though because they have a high starch content.
Now that we have a basic understanding of what the diet should consist of, let’s break it down into a little more detail as to what you would be expected to eat each day
Here is each day diet plan:
50gms of nuts
75gms of beans, chickpeas, legumes and lentils
28gms of fish or chicken
13gms of eggs
232gms of carbs (whole grains and rice)
50gms of starchy vegetables
250gms worth of dairy (a glass of milk)
300gms of vegetables
200gms of fruits
50gms worth of oil (preferably olive oil)
You can also give in to your cravings and enjoy up to 31gms of sugar.
These dietary restrictions may also have an impact on the taste but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. You can always mix and match ingredients and create dishes that appeal to your palate. You can also find some healthy and tasty recipes from various online sources, friends and family.
Following this diet is by no means an easy task but think of the worldwide rewards that it yields.
Europe and North America will have to severely restrict their red meat intake, East Asia will have to slow down on the fish consumption and Africa will have to cut back on the amount of starchy vegetables they consume.
Every part of the planet will have to follow a diet similar to this to ensure that not only do we have a healthy future but our planet has one too.