Keto dieters are ‘irresponsible’ stewards of the planet, says Harvard nutrition expert


  • Harvard nutrition professor, Dr. Walter Willett, says the keto diet impairs the sustainability of the climate and also harmful for the people eating it.
  • While the keto diet reduces a person’s carbohydrate intake, dieters load up on different kinds of fat.
  • Willet recommends people the best way of keeping a high-fat diet is by taking after the Greeks’ way of eating-that is, more vegetables, healthy oils and fish.

While there are not enough pigs and cows to feed every Keto dieter on Earth, this type of meaty diet also harms human health and our planet’s future.

The keto diet, according to Harvard nutrition professor, Dr. Walter Willett, which is especially high in red meat, undermines the sustainability of the climate. “It’s — in fact — irresponsible. It’s bad for the person eating it, but also really bad for our children and our grandchildren, so that’s something I think we should totally, strongly advise against.”

Keto diets fuel up on all types of fat

Keto diets are high-fat diets that involve drastically reducing carbohydrate intake so that the body switches into a fat-burning state called ketosis. Usually, this means no sugar, wheat, beans, and very minimal alcohol, but also means a lot of red meat.

Although there isn’t enough evidence that says consuming more saturated fats like bacon, butter and cream might harm the health of keto dieters, Willett suggests that the best way to go high fat may be to model the Greeks—eating more vegetables, healthy oils, and fish.

Beef consumption isn’t Earth-friendly

Fat sources that are solid at room temperature including bacon, fat, butter and beef tallow are sourced from animals and not plants. To generate those fat sources, large tracts of land are needed for cows and pigs to roam.

Last week, a UN report said beef-heavy consumption trends across the globe are taking a serious toll on the planet’s health. Food systems now contribute to 37% of greenhouse gas emissions for which cow manure plays a major role due to the large amounts of nitrous oxide and methane it releases into the air.

How can eaters change that? Earlier this year, a report written by Willett for the EAT-Lancet commission recommended people should double their “fruits, vegetables, nuts and legumes” intake while decreasing their red meat and sugar intake by at least 50% to help Earth to stay healthy and well-fed.

Willett said this doesn’t necessarily mean that meat-eaters must totally eliminate meat from their diet, rather, just limiting red meat and dairy foods consumption substantially.

“With the state of the earth in dangerous shape, we have to look at everything we do from an environmental health lens as well as a direct human health lens because humans can’t be healthy if we don’t have a healthy environment,” said Willett.


Source: Business Insider

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