How to Eat Sustainably
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

5 research-based sustainable eating tips to lower your carbon footprint

Written by Naomi Kereliuk, Acadia University Student in the Nutrition and Dietetics program and reviewed by our Health Stand Nutrition Dietitian Team   

5 Evidence-Based Sustainable Eating Tips

The choices we make regarding food can have significant consequences for the environment. Practices associated with unsustainable food production and farming result in the release of greenhouse gases, which contribute to global warming. Practicing sustainable eating can help preserve the health of our planet and support the production of healthy food for generations to come. 

Sustainable eating has been described by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) as: 

 “…diets with low environmental impacts which contribute to food and nutrition security and to healthy life for present and future generations. Sustainable diets are protective and respectful of biodiversity and ecosystems, culturally acceptable, accessible, economically fair and affordable; nutritionally adequate, safe and healthy; while optimizing natural and human resources.” 

While there are many aspects we could cover on sustainable eating tips, keep reading this blog post, to get 5 key suggestions to adopt sustainable eating habits. These tips will help to make small but impactful choices that collectively reduce the environmental impact of our food consumption. 

1. Eliminate food waste  

There are many ways you can prevent food waste in your eating patterns. Reducing food waste leads to less garbage, can save you money, helps reduce the volume of surplus food generated, and reduces GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions from food waste in landfills.  

Try these tips! 

  • Instead of throwing away bruised or wilted fruits and vegetables, use them in soups, sauces, and smoothies. 
  • Freeze leftover meals to take as lunches or heat up later for a quick and easy dinner.  
  • Choose balanced portion sizes to minimize food waste and promote mindful eating habits. To learn more about portion sizes, Health Stand’s Dietitians can help you through their nutrition counseling services. 

Get more food waste tips here from CEO and Dietitian, Andrea Holwegner. 

2. Eat more plants 

Did you know beef production emits 20 times more GHG emissions than common plant proteins like beans? If you’re a heavy meat eater, be mindful of your meat intake as this can be an effective way to lower your individual carbon footprint. While there are no bad foods, choose less highly processed red meats overall.  Research suggests that moving towards more plant-based options is optimal for human health and the environment.  

  • Explore plant-based proteins to meet protein requirements and ensure sufficient intake, opt for legumes, nuts, seeds, or meat alternatives such as tofu and soy.  
  • Legumes such as beans, peas, and lentils are extremely nutrient dense, have a low carbon footprint, and can be stored for up to a year to avoid waste. Legumes can also be prepared in many ways to accommodate cultural and dietary preferences.  
  • Did you know that eating some types of insects can be a healthy and sustainable option that you can incorporate into your diet? Learn more about other plant-based proteins here! 

3. Eat with the seasons 

Did you know that the longer a fruit or vegetable takes to get from field to table, the more nutrient loss can occur? Purchasing local and eating with the seasons is a very effective way to reduce GHG emissions, save money, support local farmers, and eat delicious and nutritious fruits and vegetables.  

4. Understand where your food comes from  

Did you know that food, from production to consumption, is responsible for approximately one-third of global GHG emissions? When it comes to sustainable eating, it’s important to consider how your food is sourced, processed, packaged, transported, and prepared. These factors influence the sustainability of the food you buy and eat, and being mindful of them can guide your purchasing and eating habits. 

For example: 

  • Inform yourself about sustainably sourced food. Many current fishing practices are causing overfishing, which is exploiting many fish populations. When choosing seafood, read about seafood eco-certifications such as Marine Stewardship Council labels to ensure you are purchasing sustainably sourced seafood.  
  • Choose less processed foods. Highly processed foods require more processing steps that can be very resource intensive and contribute more GHG emissions. 

5. Cook more  

Making your own food can allow you to waste less, source local and healthy ingredients, and use less energy.  

  • To minimize the consumption of take-out food, which frequently comes in single-use plastic or disposable containers that contribute to landfill waste, prioritize cooking meals at home and opt for on-the-go meals prepared in reusable containers. 
  • Use cooking methods that preserve the nutritional value of foods and reduce water use such as steaming. 
  • Use composting and recycling systems within your home.  
  • When dining out, show your support for local restaurants that specialize in preparing fresh, homemade meals. 

Sustainable eating plays a vital role in ensuring a healthy and thriving future for both ourselves and the planet. When learning to eat sustainably, it is important to consider human health, environmental impacts, social values, economy, culture, affordability, nutrition, and safety. By implementing some of these small but impactful sustainable eating practices, such as reducing food waste, incorporating more plant-based options, eating with the seasons, understanding the origins of our food, and cooking meals at home, we can collectively make a positive impact on the environment by minimizing greenhouse gas emissions and promoting overall well-being.

Looking for more information on eating sustainably? Our Dietitians can help! 

If you have concerns about maintaining proper nutrition while transitioning to sustainable eating, seek guidance from one of our Registered Dietitians to ensure your sustainable eating plan is nutritionally balanced and tailored to your specific needs. We provide virtual and in-person nutrition counselling for your convenience.

Learn actionable tips to prevent food waste here in CEO, Andrea Holwegner’s blog post and feature on Global News.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

As seen in


Success stories

"I am a psychologist in private practice and it is very important to me that my clients have the best care with other health care professionals. For that reason Health Stand Nutrition is my only source for exceptional Dietitians. Andrea and her team provide highly knowledgeable, compassionate, and real world support to my clients who require assistance with food lifestyle. I trust my clients to them and you would be in excellent hands making them part of your health care team."
Adele Fox, Psychologist
“This is the first time I feel satisfied; my cravings have diminished dramatically and I have a whole new relationship with food. I am eating guilt-free for the first time in my life. My energy has also dramatically increased and I feel great!
Rhonda Jenkins, Nutrition Counseling Client
“The Dieticians at Health Stand Nutrition help you to take action on the science behind eating well by making it practical, understandable, and fun. Their office is cozy and not at all clinical or intimidating. I felt like I was sitting down with a really smart, caring friend who wanted to help me make the best choices for my lifestyle and food preferences. They really are the best in the business.”
Marty Avery, Nutrition Counseling Client
“I have come to think of the program as a one stop shopping excursion for everything one needs to know about creating a joyous relationship with food and our bodies. In a single word, the course has gifted me with freedom from the punishing rigidity of disordered eating, old stories that never were true, and body dysmorphia that did nothing but make me lose sight of a body that has done everything I've asked, despite my careless dismissal of her needs. Now when I look in the mirror I find myself shifting from harsh criticism to gentle gratitude.”
Lynn Haley, Pursuit of Healthiness Online Course Participant
“I spent 3 hours when first diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. I learned more from my Dietitian about food in those 3 hours than I had learned in all the years of my life. I also love the newsletter, there is always something to learn.”
Peter Whitehead, Nutrition Counseling Client
“I didn’t realize how strong my “diet mentality” was, and all the rules I had in my head about food. I was in a cycle of reward/punish/binge/cringe. I booked with your business very reluctantly, on the repeated advice of my doctor, to get my slowly rising cholesterol levels in check. I thought I knew everything about food, and my behaviour with food, but I was definitely re-schooled. My weight is creeping down, I feel good about my diet, exercise, body image, and lifestyle.”
Amy Floyd, Nutrition Counseling Client
“Thanks Andrea for an amazing presentation, I have heard all positive remarks from attendees and the evaluations show the same sentiment. It is really gratifying when a speaker does their “homework” and weaves in our profession’s day to day challenges within their content, you did an awesome job of this! You truly took the “die” out of Dietician! Your information on healthy eating and simplifying how we can work towards this as we are all so busy really hit the mark. Andrea connects very well with her audience; she is energetic, funny, and very approachable.”
Carole Ann LaGrange, Transfusion Medicine Safety Officer

Event Planner for Laboratory Diagnostic Imaging Annual Event

I am a family physician who sees patients with a myriad of eating concerns – from wanting to know how to plan healthy meals for active families, to weight loss, to eating disorders, and so on. I cannot recommend the Health Stand team highly enough. I have worked with (and been to!) other Dieticians in the past and too often find that they just ask for food logs and make suggestions that are easily obtained online or in books. The Dieticians at Health Stand offer much more than just telling clients what they “should be eating.” In contrast, the team really does more of a counselling practice, and they work hard to help their clients learn more about why their eating habits may be off track and not optimal for them, as well as helping people to effect change at a deep level that, most importantly, is sustainable for lifetime health.”
Dr. Deb Putnam, Family Physician

Nutrition Counseling Client & Referring Physician

“I am a busy mom, with kids in high level sports, working full-time downtown, and running our home acreage outside the City. I now have the knowledge and tools I need to plan for and manage the chaos of meal planning.”
Gillian Gray, Pursuit of Healthiness Online Course Participant
“As a construction company, we select speakers who can relate to our industry and its employees. Andrea’s message was delivered with humor and empathy. She makes people feel as though they can make changes without leaving behind every favorite food. Andrea focused her presentation on healthy eating as a way to keep energy high throughout the day. This message and the way it was delivered resonated with our predominantly male, blue collar culture. I would highly recommend Andrea as a speaker for groups such as ours. She will get your message across without alienating anyone in your audience – which is a huge hurdle when trying to introduce a wellness program in the workplace!”
Stephanie Wood, HR and Safety Manager

Fisher Construction Group, Burlington, WA

I found my Dietitian warm, funny, and skilled at teaching nutrition concepts without the overwhelm. The general approach of each session was to mix science with emotion, which was exceedingly effective in helping me shift my perspective on food from one of anxiety to one of joy and curiosity.”
Erin Kronstedt, Nutrition Counseling Client
“Excellent presentation! What a refreshing change to have a speaker inspire rather than “lecture” about nutrition. Your captivating stories, tips and overall approach to healthy eating uplifts and puts people at ease. It was great to hear we don’t need to strive to be perfect eaters, and that small changes really can make a difference in how we feel and in our health. Thanks to Andrea, we have solutions to our everyday nutrition challenges that can actually work in real life!”
Tina Tamagi, Human Resources

ARC Resources Ltd.

“Had I not joined this course I would have struggled with no focus, low energy, and mindless eating. Excellent teaching and motivation. This is not just a course, it is a nutrition club with mentorship, support, and connections with other people with similar situations.”
Lorri Lawrence, Pursuit of Healthiness online course participant

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This