How to ensure nutritional adequacy while reducing meat intake?
Studies by the EAT Lancet and the FAO recommend switching to more environment friendly diets. However, finding the right dietary balance that promotes both planetary health and human health, so-called sustainable healthy diets, can be challenging and requires evidence-based guidelines.
Scientific models presented here propose to examine the case of meat, a well known contributor to dietary environmental footprint.
Although meat is a good source of energy and essential nutrients, research suggests that it is possible to obtain a sucient intake of these nutrients without eating meat – provided a variety of other foods is available and consumed, as is largely the case in Europe and Western diet countries. Although reducing meat consumption is key in moving towards more sustainable healthy diets, a global standardized approach would dismiss that :
- Food culture are diverse accross the World
- Environmental pressure and impact differ across diets
- Nutritional needs vary acrosspopulations (pregnant women,old people, children…)
Modeling the reduction of meat consumption to achieve more sustainable diets
Based on the INCA3 study by ANSES, an extensive database informing observed dietary habits among French adults, researchers outlined different scenarios of meat reduction. In this approach, reduction is modeled by steps of 10%. For each step, researchers identified the best diet for health, relying on foodgroups other than meat, while ensuring nutritional adequacy. Ultimately the study provides a reduction plan for meat consumption, which takes into account observed dietary habits of the French population, inorder to achieve acceptable dietary options at each steps.
Discover more below through our new infographic: