Germany recommends eating 75% plant-based food in new nutritional dietary guidelines – Vegan Food and Living

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People should consume a diet made up of 75 per cent plant-based and only 25 per cent animal-based food, according to new German nutritional guidelines. 

The German Nutrition Society DGE has updated its guidelines to take both health and environmental considerations into account.

According to the organisation, the new guidelines recommending a minimum of 75 per cent plant-based foods were created using a mathematical optimisation model.

Among the foods recommended most heavily are legumes like lentils, beans and peas.

Meanwhile, the importance of consuming a range of whole grains, vegetables, and fruit has been more stringently noted than in earlier guidelines.

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German nutritional recommendations

When it comes to the consumption of animal products, the guidelines strongly recommend limiting personal intake of meat to 300g a week.

The new guidelines have also reduced the amount of dairy recommended, from three servings daily to two.

In terms of fat consumption, priority has been given to plant-based fats (for example, vegetable oils), over animal-derived fats like butter.

The guidelines also include recommendations over optimum beverages, with water and unsweetened tea suggested as the best options. Dairy-alternatives to milk are recommended – as long as they contain sufficient quantities of calcium, vitamin B2, and iodine.

The DGE has given advice for people who eschew meat entirely from their diet, recommending they consume additional legumes, whole grains, nuts, vegetables, and oils in its place.

Food missing completely from the guidelines – due to their lack of health benefits – include highly processed fatty and sugary foods, and alcohol.

‘Changing our diet now’

Prof. Dr. Bernhard Watzl is the DGE President and head of the DGE working group Food-Related Nutrition Recommendations.

He shared his comments over the guidelines, and the importance of changing diets to the ratio recommended in terms of public health and sustainability.

“If we want to eat a healthy diet and at the same time protect the environment, we have to change our diet now,” he said.

He continued: “Eating mainly fruit and vegetables, whole grain cereals, legumes, nuts and vegetable oils does not only protect your health.

“The production of animal foods such as meat and dairy products, on the other hand, pollutes the environment more strongly, and a high level of meat consumption is associated with a higher risk of the development of certain diseases.”

Are you interested in adopting a more plant-based diet? Check out the unexpected benefits of going vegan

Featured photo © Ivan Pantic via Getty Images

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