From 0 to 3 portions of meat per week: the new food


The Scientific Report on Food was prepared by AESAN, the Spanish Agency for Food Safety and Nutrition under the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, headed by Alberto Garzón. There are links to nutritional recommendations Sustainability area, sincelike dr Ujué Fresán has indicated: “It is no longer enough to recommend healthy eating, it must also be sustainable.”

One of the most outstanding points of the scientific opinion concerned the approximate consumption recommendations by food group. Of course, these guidelines are general and must be adapted in special cases such as allergies and food intolerances:

  • 5 daily servings of fruits and vegetables, of which 3 belong to the vegetable group and 2-3 to the fruit group. Fruit juices are not a substitute for whole fruits.
  • 3-6 servings of muesli per daydepending on physical activity. It is advisable to favor foods made from whole or whole grains and to minimize refined flours.
  • 4-7 servings of legumes per week, as they provide proteins with high nutritional value and slowly digestible carbohydrates. Legumes produce a low environmental impact. It is recommended to prioritize plant foods as the main sources of protein in the diet.
  • 3 or more servings of fish per weekPrioritizing blue fish over white.
  • 0-4 eggs per week.
  • 0-3 servings of dairy products per day maximum, with no added sugar and high salt content. Reduce more when consuming other foods of animal origin.
  • 0-3 servings of meat per week prefer lean meat such as rabbit and poultry at most. It is recommended to minimize processed meat and beef and lamb due to its large environmental impact.
  • 3 or more servings of nuts one week.
  • water as the main drinkwhenever possible from the tap.

Fewer animals, more vegetables

The most interesting innovations in this report have to do with the link between diet and exercise, both key variables in maintaining a healthy state. When it comes to dietary recommendations, much emphasis is placed on reducing and reducing the consumption of foods of animal origin Prioritize plant-based protein sources. We can see this in the recommendation of “zero” servings of foods such as meat, dairy or eggs, implying that they are not essential foods in a daily diet and relying entirely on a plant-based diet.

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This communication strategy related to the reduction of food of animal origin in the diet has long been used by the Ministry of Consumers, which in the past has caused some controversy regarding the macro farms and some declarations by Minister Alberto Garzón himself. However, as much as it disrupts certain sectors, the truth is that reducing the consumption of meat and food of animal origin is urgently needed not only for health reasons but also for sustainability reasons. And science continues to prove it.

More sustainable food against climate change

This was confirmed by Minister Garzón himself with his statements on current consumer behavior climate change. “Summers as exceptionally warm as the one lived are directly related to our individual activity and as a society. The recommendation to consume locally is important not only for nutritional reasons, but also for social and environmental reasons.”

Isabel Peña-Rey, Director of AESAN, also focused on the high rates of obesity in children that Spain has, almost 40%. “Publishing this report has involved an enormous effort, but it is necessary from a public health perspective. Some notable novelties are the incorporation of cooking techniques and physical activity to improve our health. In addition, the report also emphasizes the fight against climate change through our food choices.”

The importance of physical activity to maintain health

Other scientists presenting the report were Susana Aznar, PhD in Physical Activity and Health Sciences, and Esther López, report coordinator and professor at the Autonomous University of Madrid. Each of them offered different recommendations in their respective field. For the physical activity and sports Policies by age group have been introduced, something completely new beyond food, along with other important points:

  • Physical activity can be easily integrated into work and everyday life. We must make it easy for ourselves to be active.
  • Physical activity is good for the heart, body and mind.
  • Any movement is better than nothing, the more we do the better.
  • All physical activities count: climbing stairs, walking, walking in our neighborhood.
  • Muscle strengthening is very necessary to improve body mass, especially in old age.
  • Lack of exercise is a major plague that we must fight. All people can benefit from physical activity and reduce sedentary habits.
  • That famous “10,000 steps a day” maybe not enough: Much more important is the intensity of the exercise. However, one must “add steps” to life.
  • An increase of 1000 steps per day reduces mortality significantly.
  • Every movement counts, get moving because all this gives us great health.


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