What is a healthy and sustainable diet?
A healthy and sustainable diet balances a healthy diet with environmental considerations.
Australian research shows two key strategies are needed to achieve a healthy and sustainable diet in Australia (as per graphic):
Portion guidance as per Australian Dietary Guidelines improves the diet quality but not its environmental impact because it is the amount of food consumed that determines its environmental impact, regardless of whether it is healthy or unhealthy.
Sustainable food production and waste reduction practices in the food production system are necessary to lower the environmental impact of the Australian diet.
The Diet Quality Score evaluates the Australian diet against the type and amounts of foods recommended in the Australian Dietary Guidelines and the Environmental Impact Score, combines the impact of three indicators, climate, water and cropland scarcity.
The findings show sustainable consumption habits involve eating all foods, including red meat, in amounts recommended in Australian Dietary Guidelines and reducing household food waste.