"Climate-friendly" diets from an allergy point of view

Allergol Select. 2024 May 3:8:199-205. doi: 10.5414/ALX02471E. eCollection 2024.

Abstract

Since the EAT-Lancet Commission's call for a change in diet towards more plant-based foods, especially protein sources, this so called "Planetary Health Diet (PHD)" has been widely discussed. While for some the reduction in animal foods is not enough and vegan diets are advocated to save the climate, others are sounding the alarm that the reduction is too drastic and that the PHD makes it impossible to provide a diet that meets our needs (of essential nutrients). In addition to climate aspects, health benefits often cited to justify the PHD do not take into account that vegetarians/vegans differ from the general population by far more factors than the reduction or elimination of animal foods. Also not sufficiently discussed is the fact that a diet which excludes or severely restricts animal foods is also associated with health risks if critical nutrients are not adequately covered. Moreover, the challenge of meeting protein requirements is underestimated by many. The food industry has responded to the trend towards more plant-based foods by massively expanding the range of highly processed or ultra-processed vegan foods. These - vegan or not vegan - are suspected of being partly responsible for the development of non-communicable diseases. In addition to general criticism regarding the usefulness of advertising the PHD, the replacement of animal protein sources with plant-based sources notably harbors a number of additional relevant risks for allergy sufferers so that the latter should be classified as an unfavorable target group for the implementation of the PHD recommendations.

Keywords: UPF (ultra-processed foods); calcium; iondine; pollen food syndrome.

Publication types

  • Review