Giving Compass' Take:

• In this story from Global Citizen, the authors look at how one healthy diet could save lives while also promoting environmental sustainability.

• What are the biggest barriers to spreading the planetary health diet? How can environmental and nutrition advocates convince people to make the change?

• To learn about the best strategy for changing public behavior, click here.

After crunching the numbers and weighing the costs, scientists have found the optimal diet for humans and the planet, and they’re calling it the “planetary health diet,” according to the Guardian.

“Global food production threatens climate stability and ecosystem resilience and constitutes the single largest driver of environmental degradation and transgression of planetary boundaries,” the report continues. “Taken together the outcome is dire.”

“The planetary health diet is based on really hard epidemiological evidence, where researchers followed large cohorts of people for decades,” said Marco Springmann, food and climate expert at Oxford University and part of the commission. “It so happens that if you put all that evidence together you get a diet that looks similar to some of the healthiest diets that exist in the real world.”

US citizens, for example, need to reduce their red meat consumption by 84% on average to adhere to the diet, while eating six times more beans and lentils. In Europe, people need to reduce red meat intake by 77%, and eat 15 times more nuts and seeds.

While these may seem like massive shifts, they would bring these diets more in line with the global average.

Overall, the planetary health diet involves 2,500 calories per day. People following the diet are asked to eat no more than one beef burger, two servings of fish, and one or two eggs per week. The vast majority of proteins will come from pulses and nuts, fruits and vegetables will account for around half of every plate of food consumed, and cereals will deliver a majority of calories.

Read the full article about the planetary health diet by Jana Sepehr, Joe McCarthy, and Erica Sanchez at Global Citizen