The baseline diet among Dutch adults did not meet all nutritional requirements, it was for instance too high in energy (kcal), saturated fat and too low in fiber and iron. In the study, the solutions for all scenarios attempted to correct these nutritional inadequacies.
We show that it is possible to meet both the GHGE targets and nutritional requirements. However, large dietary shifts are needed for very strict GHGE targets, which might not be acceptable/ feasible. Moreover, with vegetarian and/ or vegan eating patterns fortification and/or supplementation with DHA and EPA, vitamin B12 and calcium might be required.
Future diets should contain less meat, especially beef, and more plant-based food products. To achieve future-proof and healthy sustainable diets reduction of the following food products are needed: beef, pork, poultry, cheese, butter, and snacks. At the same time for the following food products an increase is required: legumes, fish and shellfish, peanuts, tree nuts, vegetables, soy foods, and soy drinks. Dairy products other than cheese, grains, and starches can be consumed in amounts similar to those of the baseline diet. We concluded that modeling acceptable country-level diets, which are healthy and sustainable, is challenging.
We have found multiple solutions for future diets and for different eating patterns, meeting food system GHGE targets and nutritional needs. It is possible to meet nutritional requirements and GHGE targets, however, it is difficult to achieve diverse and acceptable diets with current food product availability.
More research is needed, considering a wider range of environmental indicators; additional aspects such as price, taste, and texture; product reformulation; fortification; and supplementation. Shedding more light on these aspects will enable policy makers and advisory associations to decide on ways to identify acceptable changes and guide the necessary dietary shifts.