THE IRISH diet is too reliant on alcohol and animal protein, according to two new studies Trinity College Dublin’s School of Natural Sciences.
Researchers are calling for major changes to the way we eat amid concerns over a dependence on animal protein and overspending on alcohol.
According to Trinity College Dublin’s School of Natural Sciences the typical Irish diet is hindering Ireland’s ability to address issues like global warming and nitrogen pollution.
This is due to the quantities of farmed products like fish, pork and lamb still being consumed by a large proportion of the population.
Many also remain heavily dependent on dairy and animal fats along with cereal, which all fuel the agriculture sector – an industry accounting for 26 percent of all global warming.
There are also concerns over the alarming amount of alcohol consumption seen on average according to the research.
The Trinity College study found alcohol accounts for 7%of daily calorie intake on average but 25% of our daily nutritional cost.
It’s this over-reliance that is leading to an increase in serious health concerns like obesity, diabetes, colon cancer and heart disease.
Researchers are calling for more people to adopt a Mediterranean-style diet comprising of more fruit, vegetables, whole grains and seafood.
Doing so would potentially reduce Ireland’s diet-associated Global Warming Potential by up to 57%.
Mike Williams, assistant professor in botany in Trinity’s School of Natural Sciences and lead author on the study said: “Global diets have become more ‘westernised,’ less healthy and more damaging to the environment.”
“Effective change can be achieved only through education. Our research hopefully adds to the considerable database on sustainable foods, sustainable diets and informed dietary choice – but from an Irish perspective,” he added.