Studied: The environmental impacts of the Mediterranean diet

The Mediterranean diet is well-known for its health benefits. Moreover, it has been deemed as a sustainable dietary model for its nutritional, environmental, economic, and sociocultural dimensions. A study published in the journal Public Health Nutrition has revealed that the Mediterranean diet is also an environmentally-friendly diet.

  • Researchers from the University of Navarra, Medical School in Spain and Loma Linda University in the U.S. analyzed the impact of adherence to the Mediterranean diet on land, water, and energy use and greenhouse gas emission.
  • They evaluated the dietary pattern of 20,363 Spanish participants in the Seguimiento Universidad de Navarra (SUN) cohort.
  • The participants completed a questionnaire regarding their food intake.
  • The foods consumed were classified on a scale as leaning more or less to a Mediterranean dietary pattern.
  • The Mediterranean diet is typically composed of eating more plant-based foods and healthy fats, eating moderate amounts of fish and poultry, and eating less red meat and meat products.
  • The researchers assessed the impact of each food item on water, land, and energy use and on greenhouse gas emission.
  • Results revealed that better adherence to the Mediterranean diet was linked to lower land use, water consumption, energy consumption, and greenhouse gas emission.

The findings of the study suggested that better adherence to the Mediterranean diet results in lower environmental cost.

Read the full text of the study at this link.

To read more stories on different dietary patterns and their impact on health and the environment, visit today.

Journal Reference:

Fresán U, Martínez-Gonzalez M, Sabate J, Bes-Rastrollo M. THE MEDITERRANEAN DIET, AN ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY OPTION: EVIDENCE FROM THE SEGUIMIENTO UNIVERSIDAD DE NAVARRA (SUN) COHORT. Public Health Nutrition. 2018 June; 21(8): 1573-1582. DOI: 10.1017/S1368980017003986

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