The plant-based diet, followed by at least 5% of British people (according to Statista), is the best diet for the planet.
A consumer protection organisation DECO PROTESTE has analysed diets considered planet friendly to find out which is the best for the environment. The experts explored vegan, ovo-lacto-vegetarian, and Mediterranean diets and concluded that the first "is the most beneficial for the planet.
Plant-based diet better for environment than Mediterranean diet
If you want to reduce your environmental footprint, the best you can do is to follow a vegan diet, which does not include the consumption of any animal-based foods, meat and dairy.
When choosing to go vegan for environmental reasons, you should consider rethinking some of your dietary choices. If you follow a vegetarian diet and replace cow's milk with a soy drink, you can reduce "5% CO2 emissions, 6% water consumption and 1% land use.
It's good you already switch dairy for plant-based milk, but you can do even better. For example, replacing almond milk with oat milk can reduce water consumption by 20%.
"In one week, more than 1,500 litres of water and two kilos of CO2 equivalent are saved. That is, it cuts the warming potential by 10%," the researchers say.
Ditching meat saves water and reduces global warming
The best thing you can do for the planet is to reduce meat consumption. Even those who follow the Mediterranean diet and switch beef to chicken meat manage to reduce their global warming potential and water consumption by 5%.
Whole foods diet is the cheapest plant-based diets
In terms of cost, the cheapest planet-friendly diet is one based on whole foods: vegetables, whole grains, legumes and seeds.
The study authors estimated the cost of the weekly basket for a whole food diet with very little meat and dairy to total 120 euros, without meat this would be even cheaper! The average cost of the Mediterranean diet basket is 127 euros, the vegetarian diet 131 euros and the standard vegan diet 142 euros.
Vegans spend 45% of their weekly spending on dairy alternatives, vegetables and mushrooms). In comparison, 44% of vegetarians' expenditures are due to vegetables and fruits.
Vegetables, cereals and legumes and fruits represent 59% of the total expenditure of those who follow a Mediterranean diet.