Can a diet that’s good for the planet reduce your risk of dying from disease? – CBC

Planetary Health Diet showed lower risk of death from all causes

Jun 10, 2024

A diet promoting plant-based protein to help the environment now has a more human argument: It may lower your risk of dying from several major diseases.

“It wasn’t just one cause of death. It was right across the board,” said Walter Willett, professor of epidemiology and nutrition at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

Willett co-authored a new study looking at the Planetary Health Diet (PHD) — which he helped develop in 2019 as part of the EAT-Lancet Commission — and its effects on mortality. The diet advises plant-based proteins such as nuts and legumes, more fruit and vegetable consumption as well as healthy, unsaturated fats — while decreasing animal-based sources of protein and added sugars.

The new study, published in the peer-reviewed American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, looked at decades of diet data from more than 200,000 health-care workers in the United States. It scored how closely participants’ eating habits compared to the Planetary Health Diet. The closer they ate like the PHD — for example, eating more nuts and less red meat — the greater the benefit.

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