When choosing a healthy lifestyle, nutrition is just as important as moving your body. You can reach your goals faster with the right combination of food and exercise. While certain foods have a high nutrient value for our bodies, they are less beneficial to the planet. As you may be aware, much of the food harvested from animals leaves a big carbon footprint. Red meat is the biggest concern when it comes to environmental health. The production of beef, pork, and lamb requires about 9000 gallons of water for just two pounds of meat. Moreover, it produces up to 130 pounds of greenhouse gasses.
Frequently eating red meat also leads to a higher risk of cardiovascular disease. Appropriate substitutes and smarter choices can help you feel better and minimize environmental damage. By reducing the intake of red meat or other environmentally damaging foods such as cheese, chocolate, palm oil, and imported products, you can make the world a better place. Plenty of sustainable options will give you all the health benefits to build a thriving and strong body.
A recent study found that replacing red meat and poultry with certified seafood can reduce the person’s contribution to greenhouse gasses. Nutrient-dense and full of protein, specific/certain types of sustainably sourced seafood are great options for finding a smarter animal protein source. The following options are all packed with the same amount of nutrients or more than the more traditional animal source: Shellfish, meaning mussel, clams, or oysters. Wild caught salmon or small surface-dwelling fish such as anchovies, mackerel, and herring. The brighter-colored and flavorful sockeye salmon is another excellent option. Most whitefish options also offer significant health benefits and a tasty meal with a low carbon impact. While many people are fond of the flavors of crabs, lobsters, and shrimps, the crustaceans group of shellfish has a high environmental impact. In fact, their carbon footprint is just below the impact of producing beef.
Replacing one or more meals a week with one of these options will benefit both you and the environment. Switching to locally grown food and reducing the intake of animals by going vegetarian, vegan, or simply minimizing your meat intake will make a significant difference in your body. Consider your needs and lifestyle choices to find the best option for you. If you decide to change your diet drastically, be sure to consult a professional who can help you navigate the new regimen. A gradual transition is easier for your mindset and, in most cases, something you can accomplish on your own. Research how to get enough nutrients when eliminating the primary sources of a specific food group, such as protein. Remember to find options that you will enjoy, as it increases your chances of creating a lifelong habit.