Climatic diet: what is it?

When we talk about some types of diets, the first thing we should think about is their goal. For example, The climate diet is one of those few diets that prioritize “a whole” and not an individual person. That is, it not only protects health, but also the health of the planet. How can this happen?

Those who adopt this food model are aware that the food they eat does not increase global warming. Its production, processing and transport do not require large quantities of land or water, do not emit greenhouse gases, do not acidify the oceans, among other effects.

What is the climate diet?

The climate diet, also called the “planetary diet”, consists of include those foods that minimize or avoid the harmful effects of climate change, within a meal plan. These effects are becoming more apparent and include the following:

  • Global warming.
  • Spread of the disease.
  • melting glaciers.
  • Increase in parasites.
  • Storm intensification.
  • More heat waves.
  • Ecosystem change.

Since the proposal does not assume adherence to strict recommendations, it is easy to comply with it compared to restrictive diets. Their aim is to eat foods that do not contribute to environmental damage.

Cultivation, processing and marketing are aspects that are considered. The idea is to avoid those that, in one way or another, cause a major impact on the environment. In this sense it also avoids the use of non-biodegradable packaging or that produce greenhouse gases.

And is that, second Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CENTER FOR DISEASE PREVENTION AND CONTROL), environmental degradation increases public health risks.

Some diseases such as respiratory, cardiovascular, mental health risks, heat stroke, among others, can come from extreme weather events and climate change.

A study of experts evaluated 15 food groups and concluded that foods with the least environmental impact reduce the risk of death and some chronic diseases.

Additionally, foods associated with better health, such as fruits, whole grains, vegetables, olive oil and nuts, have a low environmental impact. In the case of the animal protein source, fish is suggested above red and processed meats.

What is the climate diet?
The climate diet suggests an intake of organic foods that do not generate a great impact on the environment.

Healthy food with low environmental impact

It should be clarified that the climatarian diet does not follow the same principles as a vegan diet. Especially because makes a selection of vegetables with a lower environmental impact and, moreover, it welcomes foods of animal origin.

Those that leave a bigger footprint at the expense of the environment are discarded. Foods that require the use of air freight or those packed in plastic are also not on this list.


A particularity of beans, peas, chickpeas, lentils, among others, is that they are able to enrich soils with nutrients and improve their structure. Furthermore, it is a crop that requires little water for its growth.

For this reason, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) highlights these crops as multipliers of others. They also recommend them because, not requiring synthetic fertilizers, they reduce the risk of water pollution and the emission of greenhouse gases.

As far as their health effects are concerned, they are part of healthy diets. In 2021, a controlled trial concluded that eating 150 grams of cooked legumes per day improves blood pressure and body composition. Blood lipid levels and inflammation markers also decrease.

Whole grains

Whole grains or whole grains are those rich in insoluble dietary fiber, as they preserve the bran. Like legumes, brown rice, barley, oats, corn, among others, don’t require much water to grow.

Comparing them to other foods, we found out 1 calorie of whole grain requires only 0.13 liters of water to grow. Meanwhile, meat needs 2.7 liters per calorie, vegetables 0.35 liters and fruit 0.55 liters.

However, the consumption of these foods decreases the risk of chronic diseases. A recent publication have reported a lower incidence of cardiovascular disease, several types of cancer and type 2 diabetes by eating more of these grains.


Carbon dioxide (CO2) is a major driver of climate change. The cultivation of nuts is one of those that produces the least carbon dioxide compared to other protein foods.

To generate 100 grams of protein from nuts, a total of 0.26 kilos of CO2 are emitted. as a point of reference100 grams of beef protein generates 49.89 kilos of CO2, poultry produces 5.7 kilos of CO2 and eggs 4.21 kilos.

However, these fruits need plenty of water to grow. Was found that an almond requires 3.2 liters of water for its growth. For this reason, While you work to reduce your water consumption, it is recommended that you limit your consumption.

The following portions are suggested:

  • 1/4 cup whole or chopped walnuts
  • 1 cup of nut milk.
  • 2 tablespoons nut butter.

Another point in favor of nuts is their nutritional value and health benefits. A 2020 study reported that people who eat at least 1/2 ounce of nuts a day have a lower risk of getting sick of the heart or suffering from a cardiovascular accident.

Local and seasonal foods

The Climate Diet promotes local and seasonal crops to reduce food processing, packaging, transportation and contamination.

In this regard, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) he found it between 30 and 40% of the food produced in the North American country is discarded and rots in landfills. Methane, one of the greenhouse gases, is produced in the putrefaction process.

When local vegetables are harvested in season, their vitamins and minerals are better preserved, as they are harvested at optimum ripeness for consumption and their transportation time is reduced.


Mushrooms are characterized by growing among the detritus of other crops, such as the ears or shells of nuts. This reduces food waste in landfills.

An example of mushrooms are mushrooms, which require minimal amounts of soil and water to promote their growth. In this process they release small amounts of CO2.

A study demonstrated that the part of the mushrooms that grows underground is an alternative to synthetic plastic. This offers more versatility and additional benefits.

It was also determined That 3 ounces of mushrooms increase potassium by 8 to 12%, 67 to 90% vitamin D and 12 to 18% vitamin B2. It contributes just 1% of total calories.

Foods to limit

Foods with the greatest environmental impact should not be part of the climate diet. Next, we detail them.

Red meat

The major downside of red meat to the environment is that it is livestock produces 7.2 megatons of CO2 per year, which contributes with 41% of greenhouse gas emissions.

On the other hand, the World Health Organization (WHO) has studied the possible carcinogenic effect of these meats, therefore recommends reducing their consumption.

Palm oil

Reducing palm oil consumption can prevent deforestation and habitat disintegration for endangered species. A lot of land is needed for its cultivation.

Also, it is very common in processed foods. Therefore, reducing its cultivation, too the consumption of industrialized products would decrease.

Ultra-processed food products

Ultra-processed foods are characterized by having a lot of added sugar and palm oil. Furthermore, a large part is marketed in non-biodegradable plastic packaging.

A study from this year made an interesting discovery; for every 10% of calories from ultra-processed foods, there is a 15% increased risk of death.


It is clear that the cultivation of sugar cane affects the ecosystem. It requires the use of large amounts of water, contributes to air pollution, greenhouse gas emissions and reduces biodiversity.

It all adds up to the fact that excessive sugar consumption can lead to obesity, heart disease, and type II diabetes.

Products with sugar
Sugar has no place in this type of diet. It should be avoided in any of your presentations.

How is it recommended to cook on the climate diet?

We already know which foods to include and which not in the climate diet. But what do we do with them? The best way is to eat them raw in the case of vegetables. This saves energy and does not emit carbon.

In some cases, such as legumes and whole grains, you have to cook them to soften them. For this, use a pressure cooker and reduce cooking, as the oven is the kitchen equipment that consumes the most energy.

When you do the climate diet, remember not to throw food away and make the most of leftover food. This waste produces 10% of all greenhouse gases.

Either way, be sure to seek advice from a nutrition professional. Since you need to avoid certain foods, it’s best to get a plan researched by an expert to prevent possible nutrient deficiencies.

The post-climactic diet: what is it? first appeared on research-school



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