Table_1_Comparing the Performance of Bread and Breakfast Cereals, Dairy, and Meat in Nutritionally Balanced and Sustainable Diets.DOCX

Objective: To quantify the performance of food products in a sustainable diet based on the balance of their contribution to nutrient intake and environmental impact, within the context of the Dutch diet.

Design: While fixing the quantity of a specific food group at different levels, optimized diets that met nutrient requirements and stayed as close as possible to the current Dutch diet were calculated, in order to understand its potential environmental impact and its nutritional quality. Bread & breakfast cereals, dairy, and meat were compared between 0 and 250% of current intake. Their performance is expressed in the relationship between the quantity of these food products and (1) the environmental impact of diets and (2) the nutrient balance of the diets.

Setting: The Netherlands.

Subjects: Women aged 31–50.

Results: The amount of bread & breakfast cereals in the optimized diets were inversely correlated with their environmental impact. The nutrient balance of the optimized diets was maintained despite varying cereal content, with the expected improvement over the current diet. Increasing amounts of dairy in the optimized diet were associated with an increase in environmental impact and meat with a steep increase. The nutrient balance of optimized diets with varying dairy and meat contents was also maintained at high levels, even at 0% content.

Conclusions: Bread and breakfast cereals are sources of nutrients with a better environmental performance compared to dairy or meat within the context of the Dutch diet. It is possible to optimize diets for environmental impact whilst maintaining a high nutrient balance.