If we see around, people today are opting for vegan diet in almost every part of the world. Although health and anti-animal cruelty are the reasons for them to opt for the diet, but unknowingly they are doing a larger good. As per a new study, opting for a plant-based diet can potentially reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Also if we talk from the health point of view, improvement in the same can lead to economic savings in the coming years; because of weather, lifestyle and several other factors, a large part of economy is spent for human health concerns. This has been found in a new study conducted in the University of Otago in New Zealand.
“International research has highlighted the climate and health co-benefits that arise from consuming a diet that is rich in plant foods like vegetables, fruits, whole grains and legumes. We wanted to understand if this holds true here in New Zealand, and to tease out which eating patterns could offer the greatest co-benefits in this context,” Jono Drew, lead researcher and Otago medical student suggested, as per an ANI report. He also explained how the global food system is driving both the climate crisis and the growing burden of common chronic diseases like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer.
Senior author Dr Alex Macmillan, senior lecturer in Environmental Health, said that the result of the study shows that greenhouse gas emissions vary from food to food in New Zealand. He added that animal-based foods, particularly red and processed meats, impact the climate most, much higher than that of whole plant-based foods, including vegetables, fruits, legumes, and whole grains.
Macmillan also explained that these animal-based foods are also known for giving health risks. "Red and processed meat intake, for instance, is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, type-2 diabetes and certain cancers," he said.
Adding to that, Drew said, "Well-designed public policy is needed worldwide to support the creation of a global food system that no longer exacerbates the climate crisis, nor the burden of non-communicable disease.”
Finally, the study concluded that a population-level dietary shift can lead betterment in the climatic change. It can also have several health benefits which eventually lead to cost savings to the health system.
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