Eiwitrijke salade
Image: ©Unsplash

A healthy protein transition

A shift towards a diet with more plant-based proteins and fewer animal-based proteins is better for the environment and healthier for most Dutch people. This is stated in an advisory report from the Health Council of the Netherlands to the Minister of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality and the State Secretary of Health, Welfare and Sport.

Animal-based sources of protein have a higher impact on the environment than plant-based sources of protein. Moreover, the consumption of some sources of animal-based protein has been shown to increase the risk of chronic diseases. This is why government policy has been aimed at the shift towards a diet with more plant-based proteins and fewer animal-based proteins. This is also known as the protein transition. The Health Council studied the health effects of a diet with 60% plant-based proteins and 40% animal-based proteins. In the current diet, this ratio is reversed.

The Council concludes that the more plant-based diet aligns better with the Dutch dietary guidelines than the current diet. For most Dutch people the protein transition can be implemented without causing nutrient deficiencies.

The more plant-based diet is estimated to result in a 25% decrease of the environmental impact of our food consumption. To make the shift possible, the Council recommends policy measures that are focused on making it easier for the Dutch population to move to a more plant-based diet.

The advisory report and background documents will soon be available in English.