Choos­ing foods to pro­tect the planet

The Buffalo News - - SPORTS -

and Type 2 di­a­betes in this coun­try.

Nearly all my car­bo­hy­drates come from beans, whole-grain breads and milk, and I’m grad­u­ally de­creas­ing con­sump­tion of my fa­vorite treat: low-fat ice cream.

Sug­ges­tions about di­etary fats mimic those you’ve been hear­ing for years: stick with un­sat­u­rated veg­etable oils like olive, canola, soy­bean and corn oils, but steer clear of palm oil, which is high in sat­u­rated fats and its pro­duc­tion is re­spon­si­ble for massive de­struc­tion of trop­i­cal rain­forests needed to pro­tect both the earth’s cli­mate and di­ver­sity of wildlife.

Co­conut oil is cur­rently en­joy­ing a mo­ment in di­etary fame; even though it is a highly sat­u­rated fat, the par­tic­u­lar type of fat in co­conut oil gives a greater-than-usual boost to blood lev­els of HDL choles­terol, which is con­sid­ered heart-pro­tec­tive.

Wil­lett sug­gests lim­it­ing it to oc­ca­sional use, per­haps for Thai cook­ing or (do we dare?) mak­ing a pie crust or other baked goods that call for a solid fat.

The EAT-Lancet Com­mis­sion em­pha­sized that its ad­vice to eat more plant-based foods and fewer foods from an­i­mals is “not a ques­tion of all or noth­ing, but rather small changes for a large and pos­i­tive im­pact.” It pointed out that “foods sourced from an­i­mals, es­pe­cially red meat, have rel­a­tively high en­vi­ron­men­tal foot­prints per serv­ing com­pared to other food groups,” which Wil­lett called “un­sus­tain­able.”

Even if en­vi­ron­men­tal is­sues are not high on your list of con­cerns, health should be.

As the com­mis­sion con­cluded, “To­day, over two bil­lion adults are over­weight and obese, and diet-re­lated non­com­mu­ni­ca­ble dis­eases in­clud­ing di­a­betes, cancer and heart dis­eases are among the lead­ing causes of global deaths,” risks now be­ing ex­ported world­wide.

New York Times

Con­sid­ered the ef fects of what you eat on the planet, and make changes that will pro­tect not only the Earth but also your health and the well-be­ing of gen­er­a­tions to come.

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