Climate Diet: What is it?


  • What is a climatic diet
  • Who are the Climatarians?
  • Vegetarians and climatarians: what’s the difference
  • Specifically about the climate diet
  • Foods to avoid
  • Advantages of the climatic diet

Eco-bags in the supermarket instead of plastic bags , waste sorting, cardboard coffee cups and straws and glass bottles instead of plastic are increasingly becoming part of our daily lives. Now you can take care of the environment with the help of an unusual diet. It will not only help you lose weight and improve your health, but also contribute to the protection of the environment.

What is a climatic diet

If you want to not only improve your health and lose weight , but also think about preserving the resources of our planet, then you will like the climate diet . It is based on reducing the consumption of certain categories of products (mainly meat) and introducing seasonal food into the diet.

The word ” climatarian ” (ie, someone who adheres to a climate diet) first appeared around 2015. That’s when the New York Times included the new term in its list of the most popular food-related words. The publication states that the main goal of the climate diet is to prevent climate change. With each passing year, this principle of nutrition is gaining more and more popularity, and in 2023 it will become a real trend – along with the fashion for ecologically clean nutrition.

The main principle of the climate diet is the introduction of unprocessed, ecologically clean foods into the diet . At the same time, supporters of this diet try to minimize the number of dishes prepared from meat and dairy products, as well as food that requires significant energy consumption during transportation.

A climate-conscious diet isn’t just about eating local, seasonal produce, it’s also about how you shop. For example, this includes refusing to buy food in plastic. It is recommended to take only those products that you definitely use in cooking. It is better not to throw away the leftovers, but to make preparations and freeze them for the future.

Who are the Climatarians?

Climatarians believe that everyone’s diet should be closely related to the ecological situation of the planet. Therefore, they prefer to count not the calories eaten, but the carbon footprint left by the products. Buying local vegetables and fruits reduces the packaging and transportation of food and therefore reduces your carbon footprint. They try to adhere to a few rules that will help those who just decide to change their diet:

– Do not buy products that travel a long distance to reach the shops;

– Choose natural, plant-based products from local farms. For example, it is better to buy eggs from farms where chickens live freely;

– Avoid red meat and foods that require a lot of resources: avocados, almonds, pistachios. Some types of nuts require large amounts of water to grow, and in arid regions, finding them requires a lot of resources.

Vegetarians and climatarians: what’s the difference

It is a mistake to think that those who observe climate change are vegetarians . With this diet, you don’t need to completely cut meat, fish, and dairy out of your diet. It is enough to reduce the consumption of beef and lamb. Growing crops for humans is several times more efficient than doing the same for animals and then turning them into food. Animal protein requires more water and energy to produce than plant protein. In addition, animals such as goats, cows or sheep produce methane, which has a negative impact not only on climate change but also on human health. The contribution of methane emissions to global warming is about 5–10%. In addition, its greenhouse effect is 25-30 times greater than that of carbon dioxide. However, the effect of reducing its emissions will be felt almost immediately, as it has a short life cycle in the atmosphere.

Specifically about the climate diet

Among the greenest products with the lowest carbon footprint (which should be included in the climate diet) are:

– Organic, locally grown vegetables and fruits , including leafy greens, apples, oranges, bananas, carrots, celery, onions, potatoes, mushrooms, okra, broccoli and squash. Choosing organic foods means reducing pesticides added to the soil;

– Sprouts and a variety of herbs such as alfalfa and bean sprouts.

– Beans and legumes such as lentils, black beans, pinto beans, mung beans, red beans, fava beans and organic tofu;

– Whole grains such as rice, teff, millet, rye, barley, spelled, fonio and sorghum;

– Some nuts and most seeds, such as walnuts, flax, chia, hemp, sesame, hazelnuts, sunflower seeds, watermelon seeds and pumpkin seeds;

– Wild caught anchovies, sardines, herring, tuna, pollock, cod and haddock. Wild salmon and tuna are somewhere in the middle, as they still have an impact on the climate, but not as much as other seafood.

– Seafood such as mussels, clams, oysters and clams;

– Organic milk from grass-fed cows is acceptable in moderation. This type of dairy product is more environmentally friendly than chicken, eggs or pork. Yogurt, cottage cheese and cream cheese have the same impact on the climate as milk;

– Eggs from free range hens;

– Some types of algae;

– Meat from bison and meat from chickens or free-range cattle in small quantities.

In addition to eating organic products, climaterians also change their lifestyle in the following ways:

– Consume a variety of foods, including a variety of protein sources (combination of plant and animal proteins). Research shows that 75% of the food we eat comes from just 12 types of plants and 5 types of animals. This same type of nutrition has a negative impact on our ecosystem;

– Grow your own crops in your backyard or vegetable garden;

– Shop local farmers’ markets that offer seasonal, locally grown produce that doesn’t require transportation to remote locations;

– Waste is composted, which helps to restore soil and plant growth, and compost also reduces the level of land pollution;

– Use less plastic , such as food containers and bottles. Instead, they choose reusable materials like glass bottles;

– Reduce waste by canning or freezing fruits and vegetables.

Foods to avoid

– Limit your consumption of beef and lamb, which have the largest carbon footprint. Chicken and pork have less of an impact on the climate, but should still be consumed in moderation. If you can’t give up beef, choose meat from local farms;

– Limit consumption of commercially produced dairy products, including milk and cheeses such as mozzarella and cheddar;

– Avoid some less sustainable seafood, especially farmed crustaceans such as farmed shrimp, lobster and tilapia;

– Some nuts require more resources than others. Almonds and pistachios require a lot of water and are difficult to grow in dry areas. They are the most unfavorable for the climate;

– Processed foods based on palm oil and sugar, which are resource intensive.

Advantages of the climatic diet

Every year, more and more scientists come to the conclusion that processed foods negatively affect intestinal function. As a result, chronic diseases and overeating occur. A climatic diet can improve the general condition of the body. This diet involves reducing the amount of processed foods in favor of natural ones. The Climate Diet also encourages limiting foods with palm oil and sugar. Therefore, such a food system reduces the risk of obesity and diabetes.

You don’t have to eliminate anything completely on this diet. It will be enough to occasionally replace the products with a healthier alternative. You can eat meat and dairy products from time to time.

There is no need to suddenly give up your favorite foods. The essence of the diet is that changes are introduced gradually. For example, you can first replace meat dinners with plant-based ones, or designate, say, Sunday as a climate diet day .

There is no strict menu or set of rules. You can vary the dishes on the menu according to your own tastes and needs of the body.


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