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How do you start a sustainable diet?

Environmentally sustainable diets are a Win-Win for the planet and your health too. 

We can reduce our carbon footprint and help our planet by:

  • Reducing red meat and having some meat free days every week
  • Eating more plant foods
  • Reducing food waste
  • Moderating higher fat dairy foods


Work through these tips then decide what action you’ll take

An environmentally sustainable diet does not have to include meat or mean going vegan – you don’t have to remove meat and dairy completely.

  • Shift to more plant foods like beans, lentils, nuts and meat alternatives such as 'mycoprotein' in place of animal food

Moderating our dairy intake also helps the planet.

  • Prioritise lower fat and sugar dairy options such as milk and yoghurt over ice cream and desserts
  • If you have plant-based alternatives, make sure to opt for fortified options with added calcium and iodine

 Eating high fibre grains is best for the environment - and your health – because they’re nutritious

  • Opt for wholemeal breads, bulgar wheat and wholegrain versions of pasta and cereals

Aim for your 5 a day but keep it sustainable.

  • Choose local and seasonal produce
  • reduce fruit and veg that have been flown in or grown in greenhouses
  • Avoid prepped and packaged fruit, veg and salads
  • Remember tinned and frozen count too

Overall food intake in the UK is too high, especially high calorie foods like biscuits, crisps, chocolate and takeaways which are less nutritious.

  • Watch your portions and snacks to protect the planet – and your health too

Soft drinks and fruit juice are the third biggest contributor of dietary greenhouse gas emissions. Tap water remains our most sustainable source of hydration.

  • Use refillable bottles 

Wasted food and drink is harmful to the environment because of all the land, water and energy used in its production. 

  • 70% of food is wasted in the home so there is plenty we can do to control this 

Try these tips from Love Food Hate Waste

What would your own personal action plan look like after reading this list? Decide how you’ll take a step in the right direction!

The information on this page is general. If you have a medical condition, are pregnant or a child, please seek advice before making any changes to usual dietary advice.