New Year diet can cut your weight and your carbon footprint

 In News

For many new year means a new look at dieting after the excesses of the Christmas holiday.

The good news is that reducing your weight and healthy eating cuts the risk of early death by 10 per cent as well as cutting your carbon footprint by a third.

Green energy expert Ron Fox was commenting on a study by a team from London School of Tropical Hygiene and Medicine and the University of Oxford on the food habits of more than 55,000 Britons.

Their research showed that those who stuck closely to Public Health England’s Eatwell guide had both health and environment benefits. The nine eating recommendations include:

  • Eating at least five portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables every day.
  • Having at least two portions of sustainably sourced fish a week, one of them being oily fish.
  • Eat less red and processed meat, keeping overall intake below 70 grams a day.
  • Choose whole grain or higher fibres of food eating more than 30 grams of fibre a day.
  • Go for food with less added salt.
  • Restrict the amount of free sugars to under five per cent of total calories.

The experts’ findings showed that people who adhered to any five or more of those guidelines saw a seven per cent reduction in their risk of premature death, rising to ten per cent for those who ate five portions of fruit and vegetables a day.

As well as helping lose weight, sticking to five of the recommendations were linked to 1.6kg fewer carbon dioxide (Co2) emissions per person per day. This was 30 per cent lower than the daily average for diets sticking to two or fewer of the nine recommendations.

“These are very sensible recommendations,” said Ron, “but on top of that people can cut their reduce their carbon footprint with other simple food changes.”

He said buying locally cuts carbon emissions as the food is not transported long distances.

Cutting back on dairy products, including milk and cheese, is another way. One study revealed that these products were the second largest contributor to increasing individual greenhouse gases – behind only meat. Dairy cattle and their manure emit harmful methane, carbon dioxide, nitric oxide and ammonia gases.

Planning meals ahead of time, saving leftovers, and buying only what is needed cuts waste. It’s estimated that each person on the planet throws away 428 – 858 pounds (194–389 kg) of food per year on average.

Food dumped in landfill decomposes and gives off methane, which over 100 years is estimated to have 34 times the impact as carbon dioxide on global warming.

“It is a great way to start the New Year by changing your diet, losing some weight to feel healthier while at the same time cutting your own carbon footprint significantly,” added Ron.

For more details about green energy call Ron on 0845 474 6641.

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