Sustainable eating, healthy eating

''Diet'' means life regimen. Diets not only include the set of foods that are taken with a beneficial purpose for health or for weight control, but also all those lifestyle habits that we implement for a specific purpose.

Nowadays, vegetarian and flexitarian diets, as well as other movements such as "Meatless Mondays", have become popular due to a heightened awareness of the environmental impact of food. In addition, the consumption of organic products has increased.

It seems clear that being responsible in general consumption, and food consumption in particular, is healthy for the planet and therefore beneficial for all of us.

If you are one of those people who are concerned about your health, you should also be concerned about the health of the environment and, for this reason, we want to share some tips on how to follow a sustainable and healthy diet.

  • Reduce meat consumption. In general, the production of food of animal origin requires a higher consumption of resources and energy than food of plant origin. In addition, raising these animals, especially cattle, emits more greenhouse gases than other smaller animals. It is not a matter of removing their consumption from your daily diet, but of reducing their frequency of consumption. 
  • Reduce food waste. More than 1 billion tons of food in the world are wasted every year without being used. In other words, more than 17% of the world’s food production is wasted, and much of it, more than 30%, is thrown away directly at home. Therefore, making a responsible purchase, preparing your own food and being aware are small actions, which combined can have a big impact. 
  • Know how to cook each food. The method of cooking food at home can lead to significant savings in energy and resources such as water. Choosing fresh foods, such as vegetables and fruits, which are eaten raw, reduces energy consumption. Techniques such as batch cooking, that is planning a weekly menu and cooking once a week basic and versatile recipes, reduce food waste and save both energy and time. 
  • Eat seasonal and local foods. Seasonality and proximity refer to a very similar concept. The products provided by nearby regions are available to us according to the season of the year. Also, when we talk about proximity, we refer to the small stores in our neighborhoods or towns where we can go shopping on foot or by bicycle. Making small purchases allows us to manage our spending and consumption better, despite the fact that we think that if we go shopping in supermarkets we save on trips because we make larger purchases. 
  • Bet on organic products. It has been demonstrated that organic farming, within certain parameters of proximity, is a good alternative to fight against climate change. These crops are more respectful with soil and involve more efficient practices that save water and energy. They also contribute to a balance of biodiversity, as no synthetic fertilizers or pesticides are used.
  • Eat only what you need. Being more responsible in food consumption involves choosing products of higher nutritional value and, above all, not consuming empty calories. The inertia of consumption leads us to a social culture that is closely linked to food and drink. We have changed from eating out of hunger and necessity to eating for pleasure and as a social act. It is not necessary to give up the latter, but we live surrounded by an obesogenic environment where the consumption of calories is excessive and unnecessary. 

Almost all the guidelines for following a more sustainable diet involve lifestyle habits that also contribute to our health care:

  • Reducing the consumption of meat preparations and fast food helps prevent disorders associated with high cholesterol and triglycerides. Avoiding an excess of these products also helps us to maintain a balanced weight. 
  • Reducing food waste at homes involves planning menus, eating a varied diet and preserving food better, especially once it has been cooked. This helps us to avoid food poisoning or other problems caused by poor food hygiene. 
  • Increasing the consumption of fresh foods with simple or raw preparations improves the biodiversity of our microbiota, provides a great contribution of fiber and vitamins, which degrade with cooking, and reduces the calories provided by recipes that require more laborious preparations. 
  • Eating seasonal foods allows us to eat a varied diet, enjoying better flavors. In addition, walking to the grocery store is a good way to exercise and save fuel.
  • Eating only the necessary calories is undoubtedly one of the easiest ways to combat irresponsible consumption and preserve health. Individual responsibility should not be the basis of the fight against climate change, but “little by little, a little becomes a lot.”
  • Organic products are not necessarily more nutritious than those from conventional production. However, in the long term, protecting natural resources, enhancing the resilience of ecosystems, adding value to food products and avoiding the disproportionate use of additives and antibiotics can help ensure that a healthy diet remains available to future generations.