Are the Dietary Guidelines for Meat, Fat, Fruit and Vegetable Consumption Appropriate for Environmental Sustainability? A Review of the Literature

Reynolds, Christian John; Buckley, Jonathan David; Weinstein, Philip; Boland, John
June 2014
Nutrients;Jun2014, Vol. 6 Issue 6, p2251
Academic Journal
This paper reviews the current literature around the environmental impacts of dietary recommendations. The focus of the review is on collating evidence relating to environmental impacts of the dietary advice found in the World Health Organisation guidelines, and environmental impact literature: reducing the consumption of fat, reducing the consumption of meat-based protein and animal-based foods, and increasing the consumption of fruit and vegetables. The environmental impact of reducing dietary fat intake is unclear, although reducing consumption of the food category of edible fats and oils appears to have little impact. However most, but not all, studies support environmental benefits of a reduced consumption of animal-based foods and increased consumption of fruit and vegetables. In general, it appears that adhering to dietary guidelines reduces impact on the environment, but further study is required to examine the environmental impacts of animal-based foods, and fruit and vegetable intake in depth.


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