Dietary guidelines provide health and climate benefits - Food Nation

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Dietary guidelines provide health and climate benefits

The official dietary guidelines, encouraged by the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration, not only guide Danes on how to eat healthier but also on how to consume more climate-friendly foods.

On average, Danes emit eight kilograms of CO2 daily through the consumption of food and beverages, resulting in an approximate annual emission of three tons of CO2 per person. While many people are aware of how to balance a healthy diet, awareness of climate-friendly foods is still lagging. Consequently, the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration has provided dietary guidelines focusing on promoting both healthy and climate-friendly diets for the Danish population.

What is healthy for the human body is generally also healthy for the planet. Therefore, the guidelines strongly encourage Danes to consume foods with a lower climate impact, including more legumes, vegetables, and fruit while reducing the consumption of meat and dairy products.

Small Changes Can Lead to Big CO2 Reductions

The official dietary guidelines align with the government’s ambition to reduce the climate footprint by 70% by 2030. Health and sustainability have long been linked, giving rise to new global trends in the food industry, such as new protein sources and foods without trans-fat or with lower sugar or salt content. At the same time, more consumers are seeking foods enriched with nutrients that can improve health and well-being throughout life.

According to the Technical University of Denmark, the guidelines provided by the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration can assist in reducing CO2 emissions by 35% through a reduction in meat consumption. The potential for adjusting the eating habits of Danes is therefore significant, and a small change in one’s diet can make a considerable difference for the climate.

THe guidelines can assist in reducing CO2 emissions by 35% through a reduction in meat consumption