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25 June 2021

The advantages for yourself and the planet of moving to a plant based vegan diet


A vegan diet contains only plants (such as vegetables, grains, nuts and fruits) and foods made from plants. Vegans do not eat foods that come from animals, including dairy products and eggs.

More than 25% of total global emissions come from the food system and today’s research shows there are three changes to diet that would dramatically reduce the impact of the food we eat:

  • Move to a mostly plant-based diet.

  • Eat everything you buy.

  • Eat healthy amounts.


Carbon emissions comparison of a variety of foods (source: How Bad Are Bananas)


100g portion of carrots – local, in season                                             28g CO2e


An apple – local, in season                                                                     32g CO2e


An apple – shipped, seasonal                                                                80g CO2e


A loaf of bread – 800g transported extensively by road                    1kg CO2e


Box of 6 large eggs                                                                                   2kg CO2e

30g mixed nuts                                                                                          15.6g CO2e


80g lentils or chickpeas                                                                            54g CO2e


100g pork, bacon or ham                                                                         1.9kg CO2e           


Healthy eating as a vegan recommended by NHS


You can get most of the nutrients you need from eating a varied and balanced vegan diet. 


For a healthy vegan diet:

  • eat at least 5 portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables every day

  • base meals on potatoes, bread, rice, pasta or other starchy carbohydrates (choose wholegrain where possible)

  • have some dairy alternatives, such as soya drinks and yoghurts (choose lower-fat and lower-sugar options)

  • eat some beans, pulses and other proteins

  • choose unsaturated oils and spreads, and eat in small amounts

  • drink plenty of fluids (the government recommends 6 to 8 cups or glasses a day)

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