New Study Reveals Alarming Truth About Keto and Paleo Diets

New Study Reveals Alarming Truth About Keto and Paleo Diets
Keto Diet Foods

The research found that the keto diet generates about 3 kg of carbon dioxide per 1,000 energy consumed, when the paleo food plan produces 2.6 kg per 1,000 energy. Possessing a reduced carbon footprint is vital as it assists to lower the detrimental affect of human routines on the setting and mitigate weather alter.

The keto and paleo diet programs have been found to be the minimum sustainable and gained the least expensive diet quality scores among the the 6 well known weight loss plans that were analyzed.

This may be tough for all those pursuing the keto or paleo meal plans to swallow.

According to a modern review from Tulane University, which evaluated the nutritional excellent and environmental effects of preferred diets, the keto and paleo diet plans, as consumed by American grown ups, received the most affordable scores for over-all diet quality and experienced the greatest carbon footprints.

The keto diet regime, which prioritizes significant quantities of excess fat and low amounts of carbs, was approximated to deliver virtually 3 kg of carbon dioxide for every 1,000 calories consumed. The paleo diet, which eschews grains and beans in favor of meats, nuts, and vegetables, gained the next least expensive food plan top quality rating and also experienced a high carbon footprint, at 2.6 kg of carbon dioxide for every 1,000 energy.

The study, printed in The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Individual diets were assigned point values based on the federal Healthy Eating Index and average scores were calculated for those eating each type of diet.

The study’s senior author Diego Rose, professor and nutrition program director at Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, said that while researchers have examined the nutritional impact of keto and paleo diets, this is the first study to measure the carbon footprints of each diet, as consumed by U.S. adults and compare them to other common diets.

“We suspected the negative climate impacts because they’re meat-centric, but no one had really compared all these diets – as they are chosen by individuals, instead of prescribed by experts – to each other using a common framework,” Rose said.

On the other end of the spectrum, a vegan diet was found to be the least impactful on climate, generating 0.7 kg of carbon dioxide per 1,000 calories consumed, less than a quarter of the impact of the keto diet. The vegan diet was followed by vegetarian and pescatarian diets in increasing impact.

The pescatarian diet scored highest on nutritional quality of the diets analyzed, with vegetarian and vegan diets following behind.

The omnivore diet – the most common diet, represented by 86{d2b09b03d44633acb673e8080360919f91e60962656af8ade0305d5d8b7e4889} of survey participants – sat squarely in the middle of the pack of both quality and sustainability. Based on the findings, if a third of those on omnivore diets began eating a vegetarian diet, on average for any given day, it would be equivalent to eliminating 340 million passenger vehicle miles.

Notably, however, when those on omnivorous diets opted for the plant-forward Mediterranean or fatty meat-limiting DASH diet versions, both carbon footprints and nutritional quality scores improved.

“Climate change is arguably one of the most pressing problems of our time, and a lot of people are interested in moving to a plant-based diet,” Rose said. “Based on our results, that would reduce your footprint and be generally healthy. Our research also shows there’s a way to improve your health and footprint without giving up meat entirely.”

A 2021 United Nations-backed study found that 34{d2b09b03d44633acb673e8080360919f91e60962656af8ade0305d5d8b7e4889} of greenhouse gas emissions come from the food system. The major share of those emissions come from food production, with beef being responsible for 8-10 times more emissions than chicken production and over 20 times more emissions than nut and legume production.

While the environmental impacts of specific foods have been studied extensively, Rose said this study was important because “it considers how individuals select popular diets that are composed of a wide variety of foods.”

Going forward, Rose still has questions about how to encourage eating habits that are better for people and the planet.

“I think the next question is how would different policies affect outcomes and how could those move us toward healthier, more environmentally friendly diets?” Rose said.

Reference: “Popular diets as selected by adults in the United States show wide variation in carbon footprints and diet quality” by Keelia O’Malley, Amelia Willits-Smith and Donald Rose, 1 March 2023, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
DOI: 10.1016/j.ajcnut.2023.01.009

The study was funded by the Wellcome Trust.