A recent study indicated that a vegan diet is healthier for the environment than a Mediterranean diet, and the difference may be attributed to refraining from eating any foods that come from animals.
According to the findings of a research that was just published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public health, following a vegan diet is better for the environment than following a Mediterranean diet.
The goal of the study was to compare two well-planned diets, the Mediterranean diet and the vegan diet, both of which are considered healthy and environmentally friendly, to determine how they differ in terms of their effects on the environment. The Mediterranean diet and the vegan diet are both considered healthy and environmentally friendly.
They pointed out that the two diets are comparable in the sense that they both place an emphasis on meals derived from plants (vegetables, grains, legumes, fruit, nuts, and oil). The main significant difference between the two diets is that the vegan diet prioritizes foods made from plants rather than animals for its source of protein, whereas the Mediterranean diet prioritizes meals made from animal products.
What kind of effects do things made from animals have on the natural world?
For the purpose of the study, the researchers utilized a technique known as the Life Cycle Assessment, which is used to determine the impact that a product has on the surrounding ecosystem. Both of the diets that were analyzed included the same proportions of macronutrients and satisfied all of the nutritional requirements and recommendations. The calculations were performed using a hypothetical diet for one week consisting of 2,000 calories per day as the starting point.
To be more specific, the researchers evaluated the effects of the two diets using the “farm to table” methodology, which takes into account all of the steps involved in the creation of the meals, including agricultural production, transportation, processing, packing, and preparation at home.
As compared to the Mediterranean diet, the researchers discovered that following a vegan diet resulted in a total environmental impact that was 44 percent lower. According to the scientists, even a moderate use of items derived from animals has a significant impact on the way humans and the environment interact with each other.
According to the findings of the study, the researchers concluded that “this result definitely supports the premise that meat and dairy intake plays a crucial role, in particular in terms of damage to human health and ecosystems.”
Even though only a relatively small amount of meat is included in the Mediterranean diet, a recent study found that the consumption of even just 10 percent of calories derived from animal products was responsible for approximately 50 percent of the diet's global impact. The largest contribution came from the consumption of meat, which was approximately 30 percent.
The researchers said that their findings lend credence to the hypothesis that “even a minimal-to-moderate content of animal foods has a consistent impact on the environmental footprint of a diet,” and that “their reduction can elicit significant ecological benefits.” “Our study supports the thesis that even a minimal-to-moderate content of animal foods has a consistent impact on the environmental footprint of a
In addition, their calculations revealed that beans had an impact that was 84 percent lower than that of mixed meat, and that the overall impact of soy milk was 79 percent lower than that of cow's milk.
“Food has an effect not just on health but also on the environment. In this part of our research, we investigated two sustainable diets that are extremely comparable to one another in terms of their nutritional contents, but that differ significantly with regard to the total environmental consequences they produce. According to the findings of the study, “significant improvement in the total environmental impact was shown to result from the replacement of a small calorie quota (10.6 percent) represented by animal foods with plant foods.” This improvement was particularly beneficial for ecosystems and human health.
When it comes to weight loss, the vegan diet is superior to the Mediterranean diet.
Past study that compared the two diets suggests that a vegan diet had better outcomes than a Mediterranean diet when it comes to weight reduction, insulin sensitivity, and cholesterol levels. A normal Mediterranean diet was compared to a low-fat plant-based diet in a research that was published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition in 2021. The plant-based diet was shown to be superior than the Mediterranean diet in terms of its ability to promote weight reduction.
According to the findings of the study, individuals on the vegan diet dropped an average of around 13 pounds, in contrast to the Mediterranean diet, which resulted in no mean change in weight loss.
“While many people think of the Mediterranean diet as one of the best ways to lose weight, the diet actually crashed and burned when we put it to the test,” the study's author, Neal Barnard, MD, president of Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, said in a statement at the time. “The diet actually crashed and burned when we put it to the test.”
According to what he found in a study that was both randomized and controlled, the Mediterranean diet did not result in any weight loss at all. It would appear that the addition of fatty fish, dairy products, and oils is the source of the issue. On the other hand, switching to a vegan diet low in fat led to noticeable and ongoing reductions in weight.