Government confirms vegan diet is healthier and better for environment

Government confirms vegan diet is healthier and better for environment

The latest government report confirms that a vegan diet is healthier and better for the environment. The 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee’s report states that Americans should be eating more plant-based foods and less animal-based foods.

The committee also confirmed that a vegan lifestyle is also better for the environment, as it is responsible for less greenhouse gas emissions, and takes up less water, land, and other natural resources.

Vegetarians who eat fish, or “pesco-vegetarians” had the highest estimated health scores of all. The report states: “Overall, the estimated greater environmental benefits, including reduced projected GHG emissions and land use, resulted from vegan, lacto-ovo vegetarian, and pesco-vegetarian diets, as well as dietary guidelines-related and Mediterranean-style dietary patterns. These diets had higher overall predicted health scores than the average diet patterns.”

In general, the diets that included no animal-based foods at all (dairy or meat) were better for the environment than any other lifestyles.

“A moderate to strong evidence base supports recommendations that the U.S. population move toward dietary patterns that generally increase consumption of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds, while decreasing total calories and some animal-based foods,” the report advises.

This is not the first scientific report to point out the health and environment risks of the meat industry. In 2006, a report from the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization labeled livestock as “a major threat to the environment,” as they are responsible for 20% of greenhouse gas emissions.

In 2014, the Proceeding of the National Academies of Sciences published a report stating, “minimizing beef consumption mitigates the environmental costs of diet most effectively.”

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REFERENCES:
1. “Scientific Report of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee.” Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee. Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, Feb. 2015. Web. 24 Apr. 2015.
2. “Livestock a Major Threat to Environment.” FAO. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, 29 Nov. 2006. Web. 24 Apr. 2015.
3. “Land, Irrigation Water, Greenhouse Gas, and Reactive Nitrogen Burdens of Meat, Eggs, and Dairy Production in the United States.” Proceeding of the National Academies of Sciences. Proceeding of the National Academies of Sciences, n.d. Web. 24 Apr. 2015.

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