How proper nutrition affects life expectancy, how fast food affects quality of life, environmentally friendly diet

How does PP affect life expectancy? How are proper nutrition and ecology related?

We are dealing with the doctor.

Nutrition plays an important role in maintaining human health and depends directly on the quality of the food we consume. But food affects not only the body but also the environment. Most likely, your diet consists of products that are grown, processed and packaged thousands of miles away. This means that breakfast or dinner left a big carbon footprint. What is this phenomenon and which products are safer and more environmentally friendly?

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general doctor

Ideal for maintaining the well-being of the environment is considered a diet style when a person eats only unprocessed foods. That is, those that grow or live in the form in which they are eaten: these are vegetables, fruits, berries, herbs, mushrooms, beans, nuts, and some seafood.

In addition, plant foods should be grown in the fields, as greenhouses also leave a carbon footprint. Of course, such an alignment will be very useful for our health, but the question arises: how possible is this?

What is a “carbon footprint”?

The carbon footprint is the total amount of greenhouse gases (including carbon dioxide and methane) produced as a result of our life, work, production. You can calculate the carbon footprint yourself on one of the many calculators, for example, here.

It is very difficult to make a calculation, taking into account the whole variety of products and services. Therefore, the calculations refer to those areas where data is most easily obtained: utilities, transport, and food (excluding storage and transportation).

Which products “follow” the most?

Many companies can find information on the amount of greenhouse gas emissions: this affects their attractiveness and competitiveness for investment.

Queen: The less processed a product is, the smaller its carbon footprint. This conclusion includes the entire path that a product follows from its birth to your plate: production, processing, cooking, consumption, waste, water consumption. If you think about what is most beneficial for the planet and the body: pick a vegetable from the garden and eat it right away or get a beef steak already cut at the factory in plastic wrap from the fridge and fry it in a pan; By no means do I want to convey that I recommend for the mother to be inactive. But it is important that your food goes through as few processing steps as possible before it gets on your plate.


A recently published University of Michigan study highlights that replacing 10% of daily beef and processed meats with a mixture of fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes and selected seafood can reduce the dietary carbon footprint by up to a third and 48 minutes of “healthy living.” »To one person.

The HENI index, which calculates the net “healthy” or “unhealthy” health burden in minutes of healthy living, is related to the type of food consumed. So, according to a study from the University of Michigan, eating a hot dog can cost you 36 minutes of “healthy” life, while a portion of nuts can help you save an extra 26 minutes.

The index is an adjustment of the GBD index, in which mortality and morbidity are associated with individual food choices. For HENI, a new indicator of healthy longevity, the researchers used 15 dietary risk factors and GBD scores and combined them with the nutritional profiles of people in the United States. Products with a positive rating “add” minutes of a “healthy” life and products with a negative rating “remove”.

The most important sign on the way to our kitchen is red meat. Ruminants are the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture. They make up up to two thirds of all pollutants. It is also necessary to take into account the intensity of animal conservation and feeding resources, their slaughter, transport and storage, as carbon dioxide is released at each stage. Geographically, almost half of all emissions occur in Asia, where the largest cows and sheep are bred.

What foods should be restricted to reduce the carbon footprint?

Queen: A healthy person knows that when it comes to proper nutrition, it is important to remember the measure. In modern reality, it is almost impossible to completely abandon the use of processed products and adhere to the concept of zero waste. (eng. “zero waste” – Approx. ed.). But we can do whatever we can. That is, to reduce the consumption of products that have a negative impact on health and nature. Such as the non-obvious include, for example, highly processed meat, shrimp, and greenhouse plants. Such foods can be replaced by dietary analogues, whose properties and production methods do not have a devastating effect on the planet and the body.

Controlling and reducing red meat consumption can reduce the amount of greenhouse gases in the Earth’s atmosphere. However, we do not have to give it up completely. To compensate for the energy loss, huge amounts of plant foods will be required: cereals, vegetables and fruits. The natural resource for this is very limited. The operation of irrigation systems and synthetic plant protection products quickly offsets the potential benefits.


The main thing is to consciously approach the organization of your life. This applies not only to nutrition but also to other areas. Learn the measure, do not fall into fanaticism and extremism!

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