Why plant-based diets are good for you and the planet

Published: 23 Aug 2021

Asparagus, avocado, tomatoes and garlic on a chopping board

Did you know that a plant-based diet can have a significant positive impact on the environment as well as your health?

A report published in The Lancet in 2019 concluded that a dietary shift toward plant foods and away from animal products is vital for the health of our planet as they are associated with the greatest reductions in greenhouse-gas emissions.

Animal products, both meat and dairy, in general cause higher emissions than plant-based alternatives, and reducing livestock herds would also reduce emissions of methane which is the second largest contributor to global warming after carbon dioxide.

Scientists and officials however stop short of explicitly calling on everyone to become exclusively vegan or vegetarian.

How to make a start

There are many good websites and books out there to help you find out more about plant based diets and discover some great recipes to try.

You could start with introducing just one vegetarian or vegan recipe a week and gradually cut back on your meat consumption, starting with red meat like beef or lamb.

You might like to start cutting back on your diary consumption too, switching to some of the many healthy and tasty alternatives available these days.

Remember, just reducing your meat and dairy consumption by one or two days a week will still make a huge difference.

Find out more

1. The British Dietetic Association have produced some guidance for those following plant based diets whether that be vegetarian or vegan diets.

2. More detailed guidance, with lots of advice, information and tips, is available from both the Vegetarian Society and the Vegan Society

3. The vegan version of the Eatwell Guide is also a great little guide and was produced in collaboration with the British Dietetic Association.