The health of yourself and the environment are interconnected. Foods which are sustainable are overflowing with nutrients. It can be tricky to find foods that are good for your body and also do not negatively impact the environment, but it is possible.

According to research done by Our World in Data, some foods have higher greenhouse gas emissions across their supply chain than others. The ratings contemplate area utilization, exhaust discharges from the farm, feedstuff for animals, transformation of the merchandises into items marketable, shipping, and the whole distance food has to travel. The energy usage of retail shops (including those with refrigerators) as well as the emissions caused by the manufacturing of product packaging materials must also be considered.


Eat Less of These Foods

Red Meat: Beef and Lamb

It is no surprise that red meats, with beef taking the lead and lamb following close behind, have the most negative effect on the environment due to their high carbon footprint. Creating 1 kg of beef generates 60 kg of gases that are harmful to the environment and necessitates more than 900 gallons of water. Consuming two portions of red meat in a week has been linked to a raise in the danger of cardiovascular disease, varying from 3 to 7 percent.

Better choice: Swap beef for bison meat.


If you’re into cheese, you may not like to know that making cheese is one of the worst activities for the environment, second only to raising animals for red meat. Cheese production heavily depends on dairy cows that put out a great quantity of methane gas, which has an exponentially more severe impact on global warming compared to carbon dioxide emissions.

Harvard researchers did not discover that dairy fat presents a greater risk of cardiovascular disease than the same number of calories from carbohydrates. The researchers discovered that if individuals substituted 5 percent of their calorie intake from dairy fat with the same amount of unsaturated fat coming from either vegetables or vegetable oil, it was related to a 24 percent lower risk of developing cardiovascular disease.

According to Frank B. Hu, the findings correspond with the instructions to mostly eat unsaturated fats rather than saturated fats. Hu, professor of nutrition at the Harvard T.H. The Chan School of Public Health was the main source of the research and the study’s most senior contributor.

Making more environmentally friendly decisions by selecting feta, chèvre, brie, Camembert and mozzarella will result in lower impacts than if other types of cheese are chosen.


Although chocolate can generally be seen as a source of delight, its ecological repercussions could let you reconsider before consuming a slab of this delectable treat. Research from the World Economic Forum reveals that the chocolate industry is causing a decrease in the size of rainforests, releasing large quantities of carbon dioxide into our atmosphere, and thus playing a part in global warming.

Apart from the clearing of forests generated by harvesting cacao beans, the mass production of chocolates generally include the utilization of sugar and milk, which unfortunately, both can be detrimental to the environment. The WWF has discovered that growing sugar can stop land degradation and decrease soil quantity, whereas it takes a full 144 gallons of water to merely manufacture one gallon of milk in the dairy sector.

Though technically a sweet treat, there is an upside to eating dark chocolate as its flavanol content has been linked to reducing the risk of developing diseases such as type-2 diabetes and heart disease, while also having a positive impact on the heart.

Better choice: Opt for fair-trade dark chocolate.

READ MORE: Dark Chocolate Health Benefits

Produce Grown Internationally

Many of your favorite fruits and veggies had a long journey before arriving at your local supermarket, though they appear to be newly harvested. Fruits like avocados, bananas, and grapes that are often eaten are generally cultivated, harvested, and brought in from outside the U.S.

When you bought these things, you may have observed that the avocados you obtained were marked with “Produced in Mexico” tags or that the bananas originated in Latin American countries like Panama, Costa Rica, or Guatemala. The fact that globally-grown fruits and vegetables produce significantly more environment-damaging food miles, in the form of gas emissions, compared to locally cultivated crops is a cause for concern. For one thing, these items that can spoil are often delivered by plane. This practice is good for preserving food, but has negative implications when it comes to the environment.

Nevertheless, according to the American Heart Association, all types of fruits and vegetables possess vitamins, minerals, and other beneficial compounds that could potentially help protect against heart disease, cancer, and other medical conditions. Fresh produce is about as healthy as it gets.

Better choice: Shop local and in season.


When it comes to the impact on the environment, coffee can be pretty damaging. Studies have found that for every kg of coffee created, 15 kg of CO2-equivalents are released. These pollutants originate from agricultural activity, packaging materials, and alterations to the environment. Given that 70% of Americans drink coffee every day, the need for it in the U.S. has been increasing and the consequences for the environment have also become more apparent.

Studies have revealed that drinking coffee has positive effects on your wellbeing. A review from The New England Journal of Medicine found that drinking caffeinated coffee does not raise the likelihood of getting cardiovascular diseases or cancer. It specifies that the regular drinking of three to five regular mugs of coffee a day has actually consistently been linked with a reduced threat of serious illness. Despite its findings, the review does warn that every individual is different in terms of how their metabolism and body responds to caffeine, and that at present there is no basis for suggesting caffeine or coffee intake for the purpose of avoiding ill health.

Better choice: Opt for fair trade coffee.

READ MORE: The Coffee Effects Of Caffeine



Eat More of These Foods

When reflecting upon the ecological implications and perpetuity of nutrients-filled sustenance sources, it is essential to look at the acreage utilized, the wrapping procedure and how long it takes the food to reach its destination. Taking that into account, let’s look at some of the prevalent sources of protein to aid in your nutritional decision-making, be it for building muscle mass, looking after the environment or saving money. Bonus points for all three.


Eggs have traditionally been a well-known source of protein for those focused on the amount of protein in their diet. Who could forget Rocky’s breakfast of champions? He knocked back four uncooked eggs each morning to energize his workout routine. Personally, we’ve always favoured an omelette.

An egg of considerable size furnishes roughly six grams of protein, as well as numerous vital vitamins and minerals like choline and B vitamins. Connections have been established in the past between eating eggs and high cholesterol levels. A current American Journal of Clinical Nutrition study saw no link between consuming eggs and levels of blood lipids or death rates.

Eggs are a sustainable source of animal proteins, with the consequence of producing cartons and wrapping being more damaging than the eggs themselves. Research has discovered that eggs which are organic and come from chickens who can move around freely have the least negative consequences on the environment. This is because chickens have the natural ability to make use of the nutrition they find on the ground, so they need less feed than they would otherwise. For each 100 grams of protein generated from egg production, there is a release of 3.8 kg of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

READ MORE: Nutritional Facts And The Many Egg Health Benefits


Soya is an all-encompassing source of protein, providing the nine essential amino acids which are needed in the body. This food product can be found in multiple forms, including dairy milk, soybean-based tofu, tempeh and vegan meat substitutes. A cup of soya milk is made up of about 6 grams of protein and 100 grams of tofu has 8 grams of protein and provides fibre too. These items have ample amounts of protein but with a low calorie count, they are an excellent choice for people who are trying to shed pounds.

Tofu is obtainable in a variety of consistencies such as silken, tender, firm, or extra-firm, based on the kind of texture you’re looking for. It is excellent for stir fries and scrambles. Tougher cuts of meat can be marinated and cooked on a grill to your specifications. In contrast, large-scale production of soya has been connected to deforestation in South America and most of this soya is consumed by animals used for meat. Generating 100 grams of protein from tofu leads to the release of 1.6 kilograms of carbon dioxide.

Foods like tofu and tempeh, which are imitations of meats, are tremendous sources of protein, typically equal or even exceed the protein content in meat or dairy products.


Nuts are a valuable source of protein, fat, and fiber, and also typically possess an abundance of minerals. As an illustration, almonds are an excellent source of calcium, cashews are packed full of iron and magnesium, Brazil nuts have an abundance of selenium, and hazelnuts are filled with vitamin E. They are perfect to decorate dishes or to just eat as a snack throughout the day. Nuts have a noteworthy characteristic; they are one of the few types of protein that can be considered as having a “negative carbon” outcome because of the oxidizing effect of the trees they are produced on.

People who are trying to increase their muscle mass or weight, nutrient-rich foods like nuts, seeds, and oils can be quite advantageous.


Shakes and recovery drinks typically contain whey protein as their key ingredient. This is one of two different sorts of protein procured from dairy, with the other being casein. For those who do not want to stop drinking their protein shake after a workout at the gym, there are a variety of plant-based drinks to help increase the level of protein. The market is stocked with countless items, such as pea, soya, rice, and even hemp protein shakes.

It is unlikely you will discover delectable caramel cookie, tiramisu or other sugared flavourings with whey products, however there are substantial advantages to using non-dairy powders. The vegan powders generally have less of the artificial sweeteners, sugar and calorie content. Nevertheless, they may require some getting used to unless hemp is your preferred taste. Vegan protein powders can enable you to increase your protein intake.

Powders that are based on plants are commonly more affordable compared to whey, which can pose a problem for digestion for some individuals, and even lead to acne eruptions in other people. In some cases, the ingestion of whey protein, especially creatine, may result in a stomachache and diarrhea. Producing 100 grams of whey protein results in about seven kilograms of carbon dioxide being released into the atmosphere. Once it has been packaged and shipped, this number increases to approximately 20 kilograms.


Beans are an incredibly diverse food, making them an excellent option for adding protein to your meals. Chickpeas and lentils are excellent in curries, kidney beans are a must in chilli con carne, and if you fancy embracing your inner Hannibal Lecter you could try fava beans (nice chianti encouraged, please nix the human liver). Beans produce only a small amount of carbon dioxide when producing protein, with approximately 0.65 kilograms of the gas released per 100 grams. They are also relatively cheap and widely available tinned.

Leafy Greens

Green leafy vegetables such as kale, spinach, and arugula offer an array of advantages to our health, providing plenty of essential vitamins, including A, C, E, and K. The USDA states that they offer support to help protect bones from conditions like osteoporosis and to guard against inflammatory health issues. Additionally, they provide antioxidants that have been shown to reduce the likelihood of developing heart disease.

Putting in a small amount of leafy vegetables can alter any recipe into a scrumptious and beneficial meal for the day. Leafy greens not only offer advantages to humans, but they are regarded as one of the most environmentally friendly and long-lasting foods out there. Using very few materials, they can yield a great amount and are just as beneficial to the world around us as they are for us.

Purium’s More Greens is a blend of super-foods, probiotics, ginseng, and bee pollen. More Greens is a great all-in-one supplement for anyone who wants to get maximum benefits from one supplement.


The verdict…

Simplifying the process of cutting the carbon footprint of your diet involves a few straightforward steps. It is clearly important to not squander food, and decreasing heavy packaging reduces the volume of space used in landfills. Consuming foods that are locally grown and harvested at their proper times of the year is the most sustainable dietary method, as it reduces the amount of carbon dioxide created in transit. Consuming local, seasonal food might not give you as many options, but it doesn’t mean the flavours are compromised.

In the past few years, the flexitarian diet has become increasingly popular, which involves mostly eating vegetarian meals but includes the consumption of animal products from time to time. Eating this way can be useful for people hoping to consume nutritious meals at an affordable price while also allowing themselves to treat themselves every once in a while.




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