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  • Macronutrients, micronutrients, meal times, amount of protein per day, ketogenic diet, paleo… If we talk about nutrition, there is a lot of information, sometimes contradictory and often without scientific support. But when it comes to eating and eating well, in addition to seeking health and aesthetic goals, sustainability and ethical commitment direct us to more responsible eating in the future.

    And the thing is… are you aware of the impact that your way of eating has on the planet? Do we understand the scope of sustainability?

    The concept of sustainability in the consumer chain has been on the table of world authorities for many years, Fit Generation tells us. Focusing on food, sustainability is affected by the carbon footprint (CO2), the water footprint, land use and the degree of impact on biodiversity associated with the production of food in particular, from crops to livestock farms or fish farming.

    It is necessary to change the current food system for the benefit of the health of the planet and people. Numerous estimates have calculated that in 2050 the world population will approach, if not exceed, ten billion people, assuming an increase in the environmental pressure of the food system necessary for that number of human beings.

    To focus on some data presented in a study published in The European Research Journal, the current food system is responsible for 20 to 30% of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change, in addition to the loss of biodiversity, deforestation and alteration of land use. On the one hand, agriculture uses more than a third of the world’s arable land and 70% of fresh water. In the other, livestock farming contributes 14.5 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, mainly through the production of meat, milk and eggs.

    canada agriculture farming


    Knowing for sure how sustainable a food is may not be an easy task, in many cases some of the information necessary to objectively assess the environmental impact of what we are consuming may be missing, but to start with the basics, we recommend this self-assessment of your personal habits:

    Do you buy taking into account that your daily diet is healthy and balanced?

    Do you buy seasonal products?

    Do you give importance to the product being local and that its quality seals guarantee sustainable production?

    Do vegetables, legumes and fruits have much more prominence in your shopping basket than products of animal origin?

    Do you avoid food waste?

    WDR The vegan protein that takes care of your muscles

    The vegan protein that takes care of your muscles

    The individual environmental footprint

    One of the factors that can discourage us the most when acting on an individual level is the lack of control of all the necessary information, in addition to feeling very little responsible in the face of world wars or large industry, to name a few actors, Obviously, more responsibility than ours.

    So we propose these simple guidelines that will undoubtedly improve your personal grade when it comes to responsible consumption:

    KEY 1: Avoid ultra-processed foods

    On few issues there can be more consensus. In addition to the fact that they will normally be the least healthy options, ultra-processed foods, precisely for this reason, are the ones that involve the greatest energy expenditure, whether in their production, in their conservation (frozen) and/or transportation. They should be the exception and not the norm in your shopping basket.

    KEY 2: Give the importance it deserves to the water footprint

    The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has been trying for years to raise awareness of the “water we eat”: the so-called water footprint. That which is necessary during the production of a potato or a grain of rice, for example, and that goes beyond that imaginable by the final consumer.

    According to a study carried out by the agronomist of the Polytechnic University of Madrid, Alejandro Blas, in collaboration with the Water Observatory of the Botín Foundation, returning to a traditional Mediterranean diet produced locally, with more fruit, fish and vegetables, would result in a saving of 753 liters of water per person per day, in addition to its nutritional benefits.

    france carrefour still water


    KEY 3: Gives the importance to the consumption of seasonal products and their geographical proximity

    An apple that lands on your table from the other side of the ocean is as healthy as any other, its environmental cost has absolutely nothing to do with it. In addition to the fact that seasonal produce is usually fresher and tastier, its consumption is more responsible in terms of sustainability.

    KEY 4: With all these variables, evaluate the specific impact of your shopping basket

    If, for example, red meat in your personal consumption represents something sporadic that occurs once every five weeks, its environmental impact at an individual level will be minimal even though the product category does have a much greater importance considered as a whole. .

    The daily consumption of a tropical fruit that requires a lot of water and travels thousands of kilometers in transportation to get to your supermarket, may however be adding a considerable environmental impact in your particular case, despite the fact that from a dietary point of view – nutritional is a fantastic option.

    foods rich in vitamin d

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    Headshot of Roberto Cabezas

    Roberto Cabezas is a specialist in fitness, CrossFit, bodybuilding, training material, nutrition and sports supplementation at Men’s Health Spain. Graduated in Journalism from the Faculty of Information Sciences in Madrid, I have always liked sports. I played soccer, I practiced karate, tennis and now I am passionate about paddle tennis and training in the gym. I firmly believe that leading a healthy life, eating well and exercising daily, is essential for both the body and our mental health. And I encourage you to combat stress with fitness training through exercise routines.

    One of my hobbies is shopping for food because I love eating, especially meat, but also fruit and healthy desserts. I don’t miss my daily protein shake and to recommend, try the peanut butter with banana, this is one of many of the recommendations that you can find among the nutrition content in which I write and discuss topics such as creatine, protein whey among others.

    Professionally, before joining the Healthy Unit of Hearst Magazines, I spent almost 20 years in the magazines Teleindiscreta, TP and Supertele, of the same company, where I learned to be a journalist. Before, I went through an economic consulting firm and a women’s website. More hobbies? Reading, music, movies, series and playing with my children. Live and let live!