It is true that many customers eat plant-based meals. It’s also true that many continue to ask questions about plant-based diets, such as asking about the strengths and weaknesses of plant-based diets, and looking for plant-based foods and recipes.
For this reason, we decided to dig deeper into the plant-based diet and what it is.
Plant-based diet and sustainability
What is sustainability? According to Wikipedia, sustainability is the ability of the Earth’s biosphere and human civilization to coexist. What is the purpose of sustainability? In short, the long-term goal of food sustainability is to produce enough food to sustain and sustain the population. In other words, we must be able to meet our own needs today without interfering with the needs of future generations.
Factors Affecting Long-Term Sustainability
Before investigating the link between a plant-based diet and sustainability, it is important to look at some of the key factors that influence this long-term sustainability.
Use of water
Use of fertilizer
The relationship between sustainability factors and our food choices.
The choices we humans make regarding food consumption have a significant impact on the above factors. Often we attach great importance to the impact of food on our health, but we also need to think about the health of the environment.
Do you want to help the environment? Try a plant-based diet
There are many ways to help the environment. One of those methods is by the plant-based diet we are focusing on here. This is mainly because what we put on the plate affects land use, water supply, outgassing, etc. About plant-based diets
What is plant-based nutrition? A plant-based diet is a diet that consists of mostly or completely plant-based foods.
What is not a plant-based diet?
Following a plant-based diet does not mean that you are a vegetarian or a vegan, and that you never eat meat or dairy products. Rather, it means choosing more food proportionally from the plant source.
How do plant-based nutrition benefit the environment? 1. A plant-based diet contributes little to large-scale habitat loss.
Livestock production is the most important factor in habitat loss.
Why is this?
First, we need a lot of land for animals. And second, it takes a lot of land to grow crops to feed animals. According to Forks and Knives, most of US farmland is not used to produce food that people can eat. Instead, soil is used to grow the crops that animals eat.
An astonishing 77% of agricultural land use is spent on livestock (meat and dairy products). Despite this large number, only 18% of the world’s calories come from livestock production. It’s pretty inefficient. 2. A plant-based diet consumes less water
To produce a pound of vegetables, you need about 39 liters (148 L) of water.
How does this compare to the water needed to produce beef?
To produce a pound (½ kg) of beef, you need about 1,847 liters (6,992 L) of water. That’s more than 12 times!
Fruits: 1 lb or ½ kg requires 115 liters or 435 L
Beans and lentils: 486 liters or 1840 L
Chicken: 518 liters of 1960L
718 liters of pork or 2718L
Visit Forks & Knives for a more complete list. Looking at these numbers, it is clear that a plant-based diet is an effective way to deal with water scarcity, as it helps save water. The only exception is the production of nuts, which can also consume large amounts of water: 1,086 liters.
Plant-based diet does not cause water pollution
These are just some of the ways livestock pollutes water.
Grazing accelerates soil erosion
The waterway is blocked
Animal manure pollutes the water supply
Fertilizer pollutes water
Increased algae production can kill marine life
4. Adhering to a plant-based diet will reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Reducing greenhouse gas emissions is another important benefit of following a plant-based diet. Livestock are a major source of greenhouse gases. In fact, in the United States, cattle (beef, cheese, dairy products) account for about 65% of greenhouse gas emissions from livestock. Lambs, pork and chicken are the next top contributors.
Plant-based agriculture, on the other hand, helps significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Is it a better option to eat seafood when it comes to sustainability? Yes and no.
Yes, in a way it’s better. The reason is that many of the issues related to livestock are generally not applicable to fishing.
And no. Commercial fishing is plagued by its own problems. Overfishing and large amounts of plastic from abandoned fishing nets and fishing lines are just two examples.
Health benefits of a plant-based diet
Following a plant-based diet also has many health benefits.
1. Consumption of phytonutrients and vegetables
Following a plant-based diet paves the way for people to consume more phytonutrients.
Phytonutrients play an important role in combating a variety of illnesses such as diabetes, obesity, hypertension, heart disease, irritating bowel disease (Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis), and many types of cancer. These phytonutrients contain antioxidants that have many benefits. They keep our body in an anti-inflammatory state, prevent cell replication (causing cancer), prevent aging by reducing the oxidative stress caused by cells, with large amounts of readily available vitamins Indicates an increase in energy due to nutrients. Among them are weight management and immune enhancement.
2. A plant-based diet can lower cholesterol
The advantage of eating plants is that they can significantly reduce the accumulation of cholesterol in the arteries. Specifically, it can lower LDL or “bad” cholesterol. A type of cholesterol that deposits in arteries, causing plaque formation and reducing the amount of blood flow provided by certain arteries. Plaque formation can be thought of as equivalent to a hollow tube blocked with deposits that block blood flow. When this happens, blood does not flow well into the veins and thus into the organs that need it. Therefore, it is the type of cholesterol we don’t want most.
HDL cholesterol, on the other hand, is “good” cholesterol. A type of cholesterol that protects us from a variety of conditions such as heart disease and high blood pressure and can pave the way for more serious conditions such as stroke.
The Medical Association for Responsible Medical Care said: “In 2017, researchers reviewed 49 studies comparing a plant-based diet to an omnivorous diet to test their effects on cholesterol. A plant-based diet was compared to an omnivorous diet. And lowers total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and HDL cholesterol levels. A low-fat plant-based diet usually lowers LDL levels by 15-30%. ”
A plant-based diet adds more fiber to your diet
Plant-based foods are generally high in fiber. Stanford Healthcare said, “A plant-based high-fiber diet that has been shown to have moderate to low lean meat with minimal processed meat and alcohol has been shown to reduce the risk of colorectal cancer.” It states.
A diet rich in vegetables and fruits provides both soluble and insoluble fiber, which can better regulate bowel movements. The lack of constipation and the frequency of defecation prevent the formation of polyps in the intestine, which are small sac on the inner wall of the intestine.
These play an important role in the development of colon cancer, among other factors such as family history, genetic mutations, drinking and smoking. If these polyps are asymptomatic, they pose no threat. However, if symptoms appear (rectal bleeding, abdominal pain, changes in bowel habits), further evaluation is required. In any case, the verdict remains the same. The Cleveland Clinic recommends: “Eat at least 3-5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day.” To prevent colorectal cancer “It is decisive to follow a plant-based diet that avoids fatty processed foods and excess lean meats. It’s not a good solution, but it’s a precaution we can take to ensure optimal bowel health.