Keto diet is often followed by several people so that over time it becomes a trend. People doing keto diets drastically reduce carbohydrate intake and replace it with fat intake. Many nutritionists do not recommend adopting the keto diet because it is believed to have negative health effects. However, it turns out that not only is it harmful to health, but the it also damages the environment. This was found in a study conducted by researchers at Tulane University, United States. The study evaluated six popular dietary patterns, including the keto diet, in which the nutritional value and impact on the environment were evaluated.
The findings, published on Wednesday, March 1, 2023, in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, found a correlation between a healthier diet and lower carbon emissions. The researchers also checked the diet or daily healthy diet followed by more than 15,000 adults between 2005-2010.
Then, they divided individual data into six diet groups, namely keto, paleo, vegan, vegetarian, pescetarian, and omnivore. They found that the keto diet group used an average of nearly 3 kilograms of carbon dioxide for every 1,000 calories consumed. This figure is 4 times the carbon footprint of a group of vegans of the same size.
The food system accounts for more than a third of global greenhouse gas emissions, according to a 2021 United Nations (UN)-supported study. Adopting the keto diet requires dieters to consume about 70% of calories from fat and almost no carbohydrates. This causes many people on the keto diet to choose a lot of animal products.
This will certainly affect beef production. Beef production alone is cited as a major driver of carbon emissions. The researchers weren’t surprised that the keto diet had the largest carbon footprint of all the diets studied. In second place is the paleo diet which also contributes to carbon emissions. The Paleo diet produces 2.6 kilograms of carbon dioxide for every 1,000 calories consumed.
The vegan diet is the one that emits the least amount of greenhouse gasses. Other low-emission diets are vegetarian and vegan diets, which require people to eat more vegetables, fruits, nuts, fish, and seafood. However, this research still has drawbacks because it does not examine all types of diets that are known in the community.