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Mediterranean diet

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Not just healthier but also better for the environment?

While the health benefits of following a Mediterranean-style diet are well-known, new research has also suggested that the dietary pattern also leaves less of a carbon footprint than other options.

The new findings come after researchers analysed carbon footprint of daily menus served in Spain, based on a roughly Mediterranean diet, and compared them to those eaten in English-speaking countries like the United Kingdom and the US.

Writing in the Journal of Health Services Research & Policy Journal of Health Services Research & Policy , the team behind the study found that Spanish menu’s leave less of a carbon footprint than that of the US or the UK.

“Climate change is an international priority that must be tackled from all angles, one being the family environment and consideration of our daily diet,”  commented Professor Rosario Vidal from Jaume I University of Castellón, who led the study.

Based on a menu with the same calorific intake, the average daily carbon footprint for the Spanish diet was 5.08 kg of CO2 equivalent (CO2e) – significantly less than the average for the US (between 8.5 kg and 8.8 kg CO2e) or the United Kingdom (7.4 kg CO2e), said the team.