9 practical tips for a healthy and sustainable diet

sustainable diet

Each of us contributes to the impact that our food system has on the planet. We can all commit to making the world a healthier place to live, through small but achievable changes to our diets.

  1. Eat more fruits and vegetables
  2. Eat locally, when in season
  3. Avoid eating more than needed, especially treats
  4. Swap animal protein for plant-based ones
  5. Choose whole grains
  6. Choose sustainably sources seafood
  7. Eat dairy products in moderation
  8. Avoid unnecessary packaging
  9. Drink tap water

1. Eat more fruits and vegetables

Fruit and vegetables are good for our health, and most come with a low environmental impact. There are exceptions, as some require a lot of resources to transport and keep fresh, so eating these less frequently can increase the sustainability of our diets.  Examples include:

  • fruits and vegetables that are fragile, or require refrigeration (salads and berries)
  • vegetables that are grown in protected conditions (such as hot-house tomatoes or cucumbers)
  • foods that use a lot of resources during transport (green beans, mange-touts, or berries imported from the southern hemisphere).

2. Eat locally, when in season

Locally-grown foods can be a sustainable choice, if we choose those that are in season where we live. The cost of producing or storing local foods beyond their natural growing seasons could be higher than shipping foods that are in season somewhere else.

3. Avoid eating more than needed, especially treats

Consuming only what we need reduces demands on our food supply by decreasing excess production. It also helps to keep us healthy and avoid excessive weight gain. Limiting snacking on energy-dense low-nutrient foods and paying attention to portion sizes are all useful ways to avoid unnecessary overconsumption.

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Betterment Health

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