Why do environmentally sustainable diets matter ? Up to 30% of GHG emmissions globally are linked to agriculture and food production, and the environmental impact of the food we eat is one of the key changes we can make to tackle the issue of climate change. The BDA (British Dietetic Association) believes dietitians should be able to reconcile the nutritional and environmental science to give consistent messages about a healthy, sustainable and varied diet. They should be aware of the challenges that may result for vulnerable groups and individuals (e.g. those suffering ill health, pregnant women, people on low incomes, and older adults) and be able to provide advice on sustainable eating as appropriate.
The One Blue Dot Environmentally Sustainable Diets Toolkit was created by a working group of experts which sits under the BDA’s Public Health Specialist Group. Further support was offered by various BDA members including local Islington resident, Ursula Arens.
Eating for optimum health
Diets centred on a wide variety of plant foods offer affordable, tasty and nutritious options. Plant-based diets which are rich in beans, nuts, seeds, fruit and vegetables, wholegrains such as oats, rice, and cerealbased foods such as breads, and pasta can provide all the nutrients needed for good health. This includes essential fats, protein, vitamins, minerals and plenty of fibre too.
Well balanced plant-based diets, that are also low in saturated fat, can help you manage your weight and may reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and some cancers. However, as with any diet, plant-based nutrition needs to be planned.
Most nutrients are abundantly available in plant-based diets, but if you are avoiding all or minimising your consumption of animal-derived foods there are a few nutrients that you need to pay attention to and these are listed on the site.
The section ‘Food and health’ has some information on cooking with children, perhaps useful in these current lockdown days ! With markets having to operate under restricted conditions, if at all, and farmers’ markets also closed, our choice of locally produced healthy fruit and veg is limited.
For much more information about healthy diets and to download the toolkit please visit: https://www.bda.uk.com/resource/one-blue-dot.html.