What Is The Planetary Health Diet? Is It Key To A Longer, Healthier Life? Experts From Harvard Reveal – NDTV Food

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The Planetary Health Diet is a recently coined term for a diet that emphasises a variety of minimally processed plant foods but allows for modest consumption of meat and dairy. This diet was created by the EAT-Lancet Commission as part of a landmark report released in The Lancet on January 16, 2019. According to the EAT-Lancet Commission, this diet is healthy for both people and the planet. A new study led by Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health is the first large study to directly evaluate the impacts of adherence to recommendations in the EAT-Lancet report. The study was published on June 10 in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Let’s learn more about the Planetary Health Diet and how following it can benefit your health.

Foods One Can Eat In The Planetary Health Diet

The Planetary Health Diet emphasises a plant-forward diet. Most foods consumed in this diet include:

  • Whole grains
  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Nuts
  • Legumes
  • Meat and dairy also constitute important parts of the diet but in significantly smaller proportions.

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The dietary targets also suggest that the average adult requires 2500 kcal per day. This will vary based on age, gender, activity levels, and health profiles.

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How The Planetary Health Diet Is Good For Your Health

To study the impact of this diet, the Harvard researchers used health data from more than 200,000 women and men enrolled in the Nurses’ Health Study I and II and the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study. “Participants were free of major chronic diseases at the start of the study. They completed dietary questionnaires every four years for up to 34 years. Participants’ diets were scored based on intake of 15 food groups-including whole grains, vegetables, poultry, and nuts-to quantify adherence to the Planetary Health Diet.”

The study findings revealed that the risk of premature death was 30% lower in the top 10% of participants most closely adhering to the Planetary Health Diet compared to those in the lowest 10%. The researchers found that “every major cause of death, including cancer, heart disease, and lung disease, was lower with greater adherence to this dietary pattern.”
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How This Diet Is Good For The Planet

The researchers also found that those with the highest adherence to the Planetary Health Diet had a substantially lower environmental impact than those with the lowest adherence. This includes 29% lower greenhouse gas emissions, 21% lower fertilizer needs, and 51% lower cropland use.

“Climate change has our planet on track for ecological disaster, and our food system plays a major role,” said corresponding author Walter Willett, Professor of Epidemiology and Nutrition. “Shifting how we eat can help slow the process of climate change. And what’s healthiest for the planet is also healthiest for humans.”


About Jigyasa KakwaniJigyasa finds her solace through writing, a medium she is exploring to make the world more informed and curious with every story published. She is always up for exploring new cuisines, but her heart comes back to the comforting ghar-ka-khana.

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