Could the Security of Our Food Depend on Sustainable Nutrition?
Sustainable nutrition, which has been a popular topic recently, is a matter of curiosity. Are we running out of food? What are the benefits of sustainable nutrition? Should we switch to sustainable nutrition for the continuity of our food? Here I have prepared the answer to all these questions for you.
What is Sustainable Nutrition?
Sustainable nutrition is a preferred method to reduce excessive consumption, nutrient losses and nutritional waste.
The answer to the question of how people can be fed equally, healthily and at affordable prices while protecting the ecosystem is definitely sustainable nutrition. It is also the most affordable and accessible form of nutrition that conserves environmental resources.
When it comes to sustainable nutrition; Goals such as reducing food waste and paying more attention to shopping habits (preferring seasonal vegetables and fruits, etc.) are of vital importance.
So Why Did We Move To Sustainable Nutrition?
Problems related to the current nutrition system such as climate change, environmental degradation, declining biodiversity and pollution that we have been experiencing for a while forced countries to create a more sustainable nutrition system.
Why Should We Prefer Sustainable Nutrition?
In order to choose healthy foods for our environment and body and to ensure its continuity, we should turn to sustainable nutrition. In fact, this is the most important reason why we prefer sustainable nutrition. On the other hand, awareness is raised with the foresight that food sources will be insufficient and disasters such as famine will occur with the increase in population.
Do you know how many people are full of foods that are too much for you? If you knew, you would avoid waste! According to the research; In a year, 300 million people can be fed with wasted food in South America and 200 million people in Europe!
Isn’t it so scary?
If food waste is reduced by only 25% worldwide, 870 million people will be saved from hunger! Don’t you think these high numbers are enough for sustainable nutrition?
Sustainable nutrition, with both environmental and individual benefits, is not only a concept, but also a solution and savior.
How to Eat Sustainably?
Those who wonder about the risk of transitioning to sustainable nutrition should not be afraid, because there is no risk of sustainable nutrition. If a person takes some conscious steps by making sure that he meets all his nutritional needs, then he will have more than met his needs.
Now I will give some tips to switch to sustainable nutrition;
Vegetables and fruits
Although there are some exceptions, the environmental impact of vegetables and fruits is negligible. So, increasing the intake of all vegetables and fruits is a healthy choice for most people.
Meat and Products
Here is the real big impact. Meat has a fairly high environmental impact. Although it is rich in calories, protein content and micronutrients, excessive consumption of red meat immediately brings health problems! It is a serious risk factor, especially for heart disease. Of course, I am giving this information assuming that there is excessive consumption.
Less meat consumption would be appropriate for a healthy and balanced diet.
Milk and milk products
Milk and other dairy products are also high in environmental impact. But it is worth emphasizing that it is also very important in terms of health. For many people, it’s an affordable source of important nutrients like both calcium and vitamin D. However, it is possible to protect your health by reducing your milk intake!
Fish are also considered to have a high environmental impact, as many fish species are depleted by overfishing or other unsustainable practices. However, fish are considered a good source of key nutrients and healthy fats. Of course, it is also possible to reduce the environmental impacts by reducing fish consumption or choosing sustainable sources.
The vast majority of packaged foods contribute to the use of waste and plastic. Many packaged foods are processed and are not sustainable as a result! Quitting or reducing the use of packaged food contributes to overall health by eliminating waste.
Here are Sustainable Nutrition Models!
1- Mediterranean Type Nutrition
2- Double Pyramid Model
3- Vegetarian and Vegan Diet Models
4- DASH Diet
Sustainable nutrition is essential for us to live in a healthy environment! Remember; Sustainable diets lead to a healthier population. We dietitians, on the other hand, should be the main advocates of sustainable nutrition.
It’s Good to Know Sustainable Nutrition Principles!
Here are these principles:
Have an adequate and balanced diet
Prefer vegetable protein sources instead of animal-derived proteins (meat, milk, eggs)
Take care to consume at least 5 servings of vegetables and fruits per day.
Pay attention to the frequency of consumption of packaged foods and the amount consumed
* Increase the consumption of healthy oil seeds (legumes, whole grains, walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, etc.)
Choose fish caught (in season) from sustainable fishing
Increase vegetable and fruit consumption
Pay attention to shopping from local producers
Maintain your ideal body weight or strive to reach your ideal body weight
Question how every food that comes to your table arrives
Minimize consumption of red meat, processed meat products and animal fats
Keep the foods you buy in conditions suitable for storage
Don’t waste any food
Use the juice, stem and leaf parts of the food instead of throwing it away.
Reduce the use of packaging, bags and plastics
Choose products that can be used repeatedly and are not harmful to the environment.
We mentioned that animal foods should be limited in sustainable nutrition principles. Since these limitations may increase the risk of iron, zinc and B12 deficiency in the long term, it is useful to have blood findings checked at regular intervals. Thanks to the right combinations, it is of course possible to progress without depriving the body of any nutrients!
Make room for sustainable nutrition in your life for our future and the safety of our food. Small habits you change can create big awareness and benefit everyone.