We know that there is no doubt that a balanced diet is good for our health. In addition, under the concept of “diet” or “diet”, other driving forces can be found, such as aesthetics or respect for the environment.
Therefore, it is important to determine the nutrition and sustainability of any diet. In this way, we can guide our decision-making towards coordination between health and environmental benefits.
Sustainability and nutrition indicators
One of the environmental indicators that have the greatest impact on the media is Carbon Footprint (HC), related to global warming related to greenhouse gas emissions. It is defined as the carbon dioxide equivalent produced by the product during a period of time in the entire life cycle.
This indicator has achieved results in the food field, Various eco-labels that prove their value (figure 1). These eco-labels can be grouped according to the information they convey to consumers. For example, they may indicate low emission levels (Crest -Switzerland), ranking Emission level (ConsciousTM-United States), Emission score (Carbon trust -UK) and carbon neutral (climate neutral product-Netherlands).
Conversely, there are various nutritional indicators in the scientific literature to analyze the benefits of different diets. One of them is a nutritious diet (NRD 9.3), a dimensionless value related to the intake of 12 nutrients. Among these factors, 9 items are positive (protein, fiber, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E), and 3 items are negative (sodium, saturated fat and total sugar). Values recommended by FAO and World Health Organization.
Some dietary characteristics
The following outlines the general characteristics of the various diets evaluated in this article (Figure 2):
• Atlantic diet. Common in Galicia and northern Portugal, it stands out among the typical consumption of fish, vegetables and vegetables in the region. It also includes milk and dairy products (especially cheese); cereals; pork, beef and poultry, and olive oil.
• Mediterranean diet. Emphasize the consumption of vegetables, fruits, beans and vegetables as well as whole grains, fish, soft meats, nuts and olive oil. It is related to the eating patterns of countries in the Mediterranean region (mainly Spain, Italy and Greece).
• This Paleo diet. It is based on foods similar to those that might be eaten in the Paleolithic period, which includes foods obtained through hunting and gathering, such as lean meat, fish, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds. The paleo diet restricted foods produced in Neolithic agriculture, such as dairy products, beans and grains.
• Vegetarian food. It is replaced by most of the animal-derived products by plant-derived equivalents. Although there is no single type of vegetarian food, we can characterize its characteristics by eating fruits, vegetables, vegetables, beans, grains, seeds and nuts, which also include products such as milk, dairy products and eggs.
• Vegetarian diet. Generally speaking, it is based on the total substitution of animal-derived products for vegetables, so avoid eating meat, fish, milk, yogurt, eggs, honey and other animal products in your diet.
• Nordic diet. It is based on foods traditionally from Northern Europe: Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden. The priority of food consumption is green leafy vegetables and root vegetables, berries or berries, fruits, whole grains, beans, dairy products and fish (usually salmon, mackerel or herring, eaten several times a week).
• Andean diet. The diet is composed of all the products of Peru. It includes potatoes, various grains (such as quinoa, maca, and kiwicha), fruits (such as acanthopanax, aguamanto, and star fruit), shellfish and fish (the basic ingredient of ceviche)