Are Healthy Foods More Eco-Friendly Than Unhealthy Foods?


Staying healthy is an important part of our lives. Whether that involves working out, getting enough sleep or even having quality health and vision coverage, there is no doubting the importance of a healthy lifestyle.

However, arguably the most important part of maintaining good health is our diet. The food we eat can often make or break how we look, how we feel and our health as a whole. By now, most of us know that we should be eating a balanced diet rich in vitamins, minerals and nutrients.

But are these foods that are healthy for us also healthy for the environment? People today are more environmentally conscious than ever and want to do their part to help our world. In fact, over three quarters of the population want to learn how to live more sustainably. As a result, many want to ensure the things they are eating aren’t harming the earth.

Are Healthy Foods More Eco-Friendly Than Unhealthy Options?


So are healthy foods really better for the environment in addition to being better for us? In most cases, the answer is yes. Things like vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes and others normally have a lower environmental footprint than things like red meat. So not only are they a good part of your healthy diet, but you also don’t need to feel bad about consuming them.

Of course, there are always exceptions, and one in this instance is fish. While fish has several health benefits, the eating and consumption of fish are far from good for the environment. On the other side, things like sugary beverages can be terrible for our health, but have a limited impact on the environment. However, in most cases, healthy for you equals healthy for the environment. But why? Well, read on to learn a couple of reasons.

Why Are They Better for the Planet?


So why are these foods not only healthy for us, but also good for the environment? Well, the biggest reason is because of the sheer amount of emissions created by both processed and unprocessed meat. Industrialized meat practices of all kinds lead to a huge amount of greenhouse gases being emitted into our air.

In fact, it is believed that the meat industry is responsible for as much greenhouse gas emissions as all of the vehicles and planes on the planet. These greenhouse gas emissions are speeding up climate change, contributing to global warming, polluting the air and harming our environment and wildlife. These large factories, plants and other facilities required also use up a lot of lands. Many of these practices can degrade forests and decrease biodiversity in a given area.


Nutrient pollution of water sources around the world is another reason why agricultural food production of things like meat isn’t good for the environment. This essentially means that the water can get too many nutrients in it, which can lead to issues like the excessive growth of algae.

So changing our diets to include more plants, nuts and whole grains, and less meat, would not only help our health, but also the health of the environment as a whole. It is certainly something to consider, especially as the very real threat of global warming continues to loom.

In conclusion, the answer is yes. For the most part, healthier foods are more eco-friendly than unhealthy options. They produce much less greenhouse gas emissions and lead to much less nutrient pollution. As a result, eating healthier can not only improve the quality of your life, but also the quality of the environment.

Clay Miller
the authorClay Miller
I am the creator/writer of and I'm an advocate for oceans, beaches, state parks. I enjoy all things outdoors (e.g. running, golf, gardening, hiking, etc.) I am a graduate of the University of Kentucky (Go Wildcats!!). I'm also a huge fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers. I was born and raised in the beautiful state of Kentucky.