A new food pyramid could help people eat healthier, while also tackling climate impacts

A new report claims that a dietary tool can be used to simultaneously reduce insalubrious eat and climate change impacts. The “ double-pyramid ”, which takes into account cultural differences in the consumption of food, has already been used with achiever in areas such as Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, and Latin America, researchers say .

“ The resulting Double Health and Climate Pyramid is offered as a tool to inform daily food choices and encourage dietary patterns that are healthy for humans and more sustainable for the planet. The Health Pyramid orders food according to frequency of consumption, with the base including those that should be eaten more frequently ( yield, vegetables, and wholegrains ). Legumes and fish are the preferable sources of protein, while crimson kernel and high glycemic foods should be consumed in moderation. The Climate Pyramid shows that the production of animal-based products makes the highest contribution to climate change, while plant-based products make the smallest. As a leave, the Double Pyramid corroborates the message that through a vary and balance diet we can promote our health, longevity, and wellbeing, while reducing our carbon footprint. In fact, foods that should be consumed more frequently for our health besides have a low climate affect, ” according to a statement from Barilla .

Food affects pretty much every aspect of our liveliness, from our health and wellbeing to our environment and economic development. But we ’ ra not being precisely responsible when it comes to our food. Over 690 million people lack sufficient food, and economic projections say that the pandemic may add up to 132 million more people may join their ranks .
interim, food lay waste to is rampant. We ’ re wasting 1.3 billion tons of food every year, and 38 % of our sum energy consumption is related to agriculture, contributing to our greenhouse gas emissions that fuel climate change. At the early end of the spectrum, child and adult corpulence and fleshiness are increasing at alarming paces — frequently, due to fiscal constraints.

ad Calorie-rich but nutrient-poor foods are frequently cheaper than healthy counterparts, and on a ball-shaped horizontal surface, the price of a goodly diet is five times higher than an energy-sufficient diet. You don ’ t need to be a attest dietician to know our food system is broken, but thinking of ways to fix it is a whole unlike problem .
According to Marta Antonelli, the oral sex of research at Italy-based Barilla Foundation, if we truly lack to address the problems in our food systems, solutions need to consider the food and health aspects together. Antonelli is a co-author of a new report that proposes a double-pyramid system to help people visualize what they should eat both for the sake of themselves, and for the sake of the satellite .
African food culture is very varied, due to the vastness of the African continent and the
various influences that have been absorbed by the different regions of the continent. However, some common food trends can be found. Image credits: Barilla Foundation.
The use of aids such as food pyramids or food plates is not new. however, these approaches have one major deficit, Antonelli says : they don ’ thyroxine consider cultural food trends. You can ’ t have the same food recommendations for places like the cardinal US, the Middle East, or central Africa — it ’ s precisely not gon na oeuvre. So Antonelli and colleagues clustered the populace ’ s most common foods into 18 groups of items that have similar nutritional impacts. They besides formed a second climate pyramid by calculating the median carbon paper footprint of these foods, using a European Union database. ad The fresh creature besides considers things like snacks or street food, offering daily deoxyadenosine monophosphate well as hebdomadally perspectives. It doesn ’ t include drinks, but it mentions some recommendations ( about drink water, for example ) at the bottom .
The idea is to eat things that are best for you and least impactful for the climate. For example, while it doesn ’ thymine propose people to give up on kernel, the report does mention that kernel consumption should be reduced :

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“ The Health Pyramid is coherent with scientific tell indicate that, overall, in the pornographic population, diets with a higher inhalation of plant foods are associated with a substantially better health profile compared with diets including predominantly animal foods ; consequently, they should, in general, be preferred. In detail, regular consumption of fruit, non-starchy vegetables and wholegrain cereal foods should be specifically promoted to prevent cardiovascular diseases, and, more generally, to improve health ; these are, therefore, placed at the bottom of the pyramid. ” “ conversely, processed meats, associated with a high risk of cardiovascular events, should not be consumed frequently and are consequently placed in the top layer of the food pyramid. In between are foods to be consumed with intercede frequencies. ”

The tool is already trialed in some areas. In Africa ( where it ’ s known as the African Double Pyramid ), it focuses on the democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Nigeria, South Africa, and Tanzania. Researchers hope that the model will be picked up in communication campaigns and based on the demographics of these countries, a across-the-board strategy could be deployed for the stallion Africa.

Of naturally, this won ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate change the food crisis and it won ’ thymine resolve anything nightlong. But with improved awareness, the authors say, it could get us one step closer. Being aware that we live in an coordinated world is essential — our food decisions can have firm impacts the populace over .

“ As a brief conclusion, with awareness and cognition, clear and accurate information, a supportive social environment, available and accessible healthy and sustainable food items, and the implementation of relate policies, individuals have a capital potential to achieve good health and environmental sustainability by choosing healthier and more sustainable foods, ” the report concludes .

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