MacronutrientsMicronutrientsRed MeatWhole Grains

The EAT Lancet diet is nutritionally deficient

A report was published in The Lancet on 17th January 2019. The report was commissioned by The Lancet. The report was written by 37 people from 16 different countries and was 3 years in the making (Ref 1).

The “healthy reference diet”

The researchers summarised “The healthy reference diet” as follows (Table 1). This has been called The EAT diet in media reports today:

Replicating the “Healthy reference diet”

Using a front-end tool, which I have had developed to run off the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) all-food database, I entered the foods as closely to Table 1 in the Lancet as possible. I used the table notes to select foods as accurately as possible (e.g. the 40g of unsaturated oils were specified as 8g each of olive, soybean, rapeseed, sunflower and peanut oils.) I used the calorie intake column in the table to ensure that I had got as closely as possible to the line item in the Lancet table (some lines are within 1 calorie!)

My food list (in the order of the Lancet table) was as follows:

The tool then aggregates macro and micronutrients found in all these amounts of all these different foods. This is shown below:


The “Healthy reference (EAT) diet (based on 2,500 calories, so for an adult male) has the following macronutrient composition:

Protein Fat Carbohydrates
Grams 90 100 329
Calories 358 903 1,316
As a % of calories 14% 35% 51%


The EAT diet is based on an adult male. An adult female would likely consume four fifths of the above diet and thus four fifths of the above vitamins and minerals. Notwithstanding this, the above diet is deficient in the following nutrients:

Vitamin B12 – the US RDA is 2.4mcg, the EAT diet is slightly deficient in providing 2.27mcg. I would not mention this nutrient but for the comment in Table 1 that animal items can be replaced with plant protein options and these will not provide any B12. (There is an amusing error on p16 of the 51 page report. It says “The only exception is vitamin B12 that is low in animal-based diets.” I think they mean plant-based diets!)

Retinol (the form in which the body needs vitamin A – we cannot rely on carotene to be converted). The EAT diet provides just 17% of retinol recommended.

Vitamin D – the EAT diet provides just 5% of vitamin D recommendation and some of that provided will have come from plants and not be D3, which is the body’s preferred form.

Vitamin K – the USDA is not ideal when it comes to vitamin K. It does not distinguish between K1 (primarily found in leafy green vegetables) and K2 (primarily found in fermented foods and some foods of animal origin). 72% of the vitamin K in the EAT diet came from the broccoli (K1). As is the case with all nutrients, the animal form (K2) is better absorbed by the body.

Sodium – the EAT diet provides just 22% of the sodium recommendation. Sodium is so often demonised that people forget that it is a vital nutrient.

Potassium – the EAT diet provides just 67% of potassium recommended.

Calcium – more seriously, the EAT diet provides just 55% of calcium recommended.

Iron – the EAT diet provides 88% of iron recommended. Again, the body better absorbs heme iron, which comes from meat, poultry, seafood and fish. The US recommendations state: “The RDAs for vegetarians are 1.8 times higher than for people who eat meat. This is because heme iron from meat is more bioavailable than nonheme iron from plant-based foods, and meat, poultry, and seafood increase the absorption of nonheme iron” (Ref 2).

I have analysed separately the 7g beef, 7g pork, 29g chicken and 28g of fish, to find the maximum amount of heme iron (some of the iron in these foods is non-heme) and it amounts to 1.1mg – just 6% of the iron intake recommended. Given that the rest of the iron is non-heme, the deficiency is far greater than the number 88% suggests, as the requirement is 1.8 times higher.

Omega-3 – essential fatty acids. Unfortunately, the tool doesn’t aggregate to the fatty acid level, but this diet is highly likely deficient in omega-3 and highly likely (given the 350 calories of nutritionally poor, highly unsaturated, vegetable oils) has an unhealthy omega-6 to omega-3 ratio. Fish is the best source of omega-3 and the 28g of fish in the EAT diet provides 284mg of omega-3 fatty acids vs. an RDA of 1.6g for adult males (Ref 3).

There are numerous other issues with this plant-biased advice. Not least – what will all these plants be grown in when there is no top soil left because we have replaced soil-rejuvenating ruminants with soil-raping plants? (Ref 4)

However, the focus of this post was to highlight that the EAT diet is nutritionally deficient and that has been done


Ref 1:

Ref 2:

Ref 3:

Ref 4:

57 thoughts on “The EAT Lancet diet is nutritionally deficient

  • The silly thing about these guidelines is that it is perfectly possible to meet recommended intake of all nutrients on a mostly plant diet. Just substitute a part of all those grains with more legumes, seeds, nuts, fruits, and vegetables. There is nothing inherently wrong with whole grains, but in this diet there are simply too many grains and too little of everything else.

    • “Just substitute a part of all those grains with more legumes, seeds, nuts, fruits, and vegetables.”

      Andreas, in a perfect world where everyone could digest everything perfectly that might be true. But as someone who had lifelong digestive distress from legumes, nuts, some fruits and many vegetables, and who went on the develop an autoimmune disease that has meant I can now only digest meat comfortably, I beg to differ. Gut issues and autoimmune disease are now very common. I belong to a support group for people who have had health issues develop from eating a plant-based diet. The drive for everyone to go plant-based is injuring those who are not suited to it and is back-firing in that many have to resort to an all meat diet to calm their guts. I had to quit work for 6 months when I was in the most pain from autoimmunity. Meat has helped me to reclaim my health and return to work. I am lucky that I live in New Zealand and can we have mostly grass-fed beef. I avoid most plant-foods and most dairy products. My doctor is supporting my diet as she has seen the improvement in my health and also she knows another person with the same autoimmune disease who has been forced to move to a meat-based diet. Nuts, seeds, grains, legumes and various plant constituents like alkaloids, salicylates etc can trigger autoimmune flares. Just as some animal based foods like egg whites and casein from dairy.

      I really respect Zoe’s work and it is especially significant since she was a vegetarian for years so she was actually biased towards wanting plant-based nutrition ideas being correct. For her the science outweighed ideology.

    • Actually, it is quite difficult to meet all of your Daily Values on *any* sort of reasonably normal diet (reference 2,000 kilocalories). On a diet that has any more than a modest amount of grains and legumes, I dare say that it’s likely downright impossible, save perhaps if the meal plan included lots of things like beef liver, spinach, salmon, and/or canned sardines with bone (at which point you can’t really say it’s all that normal, at least for a great many people).

      Some of the most difficult micronutrients to meet are calcium (absent dairy, the bones from canned fish, and certain leafy greens, such as lambsquarters, or, to a lesser degree, spinach), Vitamin E (almonds and sunflower seeds are great sources, and, to a much lesser extent, olive oil), Vitamin D (unless you eat plenty of selected seafoods), and Vitamin B12 (for vegetarians, particularly vegans, absent supplementation).

      Meanwhile, some other nutrients are essentially impossible *not* to get enough of (e.g., phosphorous, copper, manganese, Vitamin K, and often Vitamins C, B1, and B3 as well). At least so long as you’re making meals at home, and not eating out of a vending machine, anyway.

      With respect to micronutrient content, as a general rule of thumb, I’d say that offal>seafood>red meat>eggs>poultry & legumes>grains>fats>sugars. Vegetables and nuts/seeds are too variable to include in that “diagram.” (Or too much of a “one-hit wonder.)” Dairy is likewise afflicted (calcium) to include (although with the new 1,300 mg/day DV, it’s rather hard to hit your calcium target without it).

      Fruits, while typically having noteworthy amounts of Vitamin C, and maybe a fair amount of one or two other micronutrients of concern, don’t generally look too hot (although some have plenty of fiber). That’s not to say that their phytonutrient content isn’t of importance, but we don’t have recommended intakes for things like that (not yet, anyway). This would also apply to some otherwise to some otherwise very lackluster vegetables, such as eggplants (although those are botanically fruits, just like peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, and squash).

      The point is that the more your eat from the upper side (offal, seafood, etc), and the less you eat from the bottom side (sugars, fats, etc.), the better your micronutrient profile is going to be.

  • “Recommended” daily amounts from decades old USDA science is where we are going wrong here. It is okay for science to develop and give us better information.

    “You can always wake up someone who is asleep, but no amout of noise will ever wake up someone is is pretending to sleep”
    – Safran Foer

    Doctor Harcombe, I am afraid you are pretending to be asleep. It is going to take all of us to pull this thing off. I hope you will use your voice and platform to do some good.

  • I challenge you to formulate a palatable diet that supplies all the Recommended Daily Allawances of all macro and micro nutrients. Even when you focus on one micronutrient and compile a diet to meet the RDA e.g. calcium, when you then see if that diet to see if it supplied sufficient zinc, iron or B6 for example. You may find it fails. Then when you tweak the diet to incorporate the missing nutrients the diet becomes so weird and unpalatable no one would follow it.

    • Hi Gonfera
      I did this in my obesity book (2010). It’s in a member post here

      The 2010 answer (there will be many) was:
      All DRIs and AIs could be achieved by eating 1,077 calories comprising the following: 35 grams of porridge oats; 125 grams of whole milk (not low fat); 75 grams of liver; 50 grams of broccoli; 200 grams of spinach; 25 grams of cocoa powder; 125 grams of sardines (oil based, bones included); 200 grams of eggs and 20 grams of sunflower seeds.

      One change was needed to update the selection of foods to account for the revised vitamin D target: the sardine intake needed to increase from 125g to 175g per day. This increased calories for the basket of healthy foods to approximately 1,200 – still well below any fuel requirement for an adult male or female. (The energy requirement can then be made up as desired – just not with junk or that will place extra requirements for nutrients).

      EAT ended up with nutritional deficiency and 2,500 cals. Everything can be delivered for fewer than half those calories.

      Best wishes – Zoe

      • Hi There,

        You chose to include spinach in your diet, but not in the EAT lancet diet that you created.
        Some continuity and reduction in bias perhaps?

      • Hello :)

        I used cronometer (USDA database compatible) to check your diet, and it is nutritionally deficient. It lacks fiber, potassium and sodium. It also has too much copper.

      • 200g eggs, 125g sardines, 75g liver… There’s way too much cholesterol in this diet.

  • So what is the answer then, keep eating what optimizes individual health and procreate towards 10 billion people on a finite resourced planet?
    Balance our diets towards environmental and personal health?
    Start a war that reduces human population to a more balanced level without destroying environment and infrastructure (don’t have that tech)
    Too many experts all backed by varying lobby groups who do we believe?
    At the risk of sounding like a socialist greenie – Our house is on fire we are all sitting around arguing about where the smoke is coming from, no body is grabbing a bucket.
    #@$% humans are dumb

    • It may not be possible to provide an optimal diet for everyone. :( Some people may opt to die early to aid the planet’s survival. Parents are unlikely to choose such a diet for their children. . . . Sad!

  • If you look at the diets of wild primates you will see the RDI figures are complete nonsense. They are 10x too high for sodium, iron and fat. They are 10x too low for fibre and 100x too low for Vitamin C . They are around 50x too low for Vitamin D.

  • Interesting read. It seems to me however that your sample diet is overly restricted. Where EAT recommends a range of ‘fruit’, your reference diet only has apples; rice, wheat and corn is replaced by just rice; a range of vegetables recommended by the Lancet diet is represented by just 3 vegetables in your analysis.
    Your resultant list of deficiencies would be corrected by having the variety of food recommended by the authors of the Lancet paper, e.g. bananas for potassium, outdoor grown mushrooms for vit D etc.

    • Hi Oliver – re-do it and prove me wrong. Pick whatever foods you want that meet the Table guidelines. I picked foods that I know to be nutritious – rice is usually better than wheat and corn.

      You can swap away any plant foods for other plant foods that you like and you won’t change retinol, B12, vitamin D3, heme iron or EPA or DHA. You probably won’t change calcium enough either.

      Best wishes – Zoe
      p.s. potassium is even easier – drink water – I just listed the deficiencies for completeness.

      • Hi Zoe,

        Thanks for the reply, I’m from an environmental sciences background and not massively clued up on the details of nutrition so I really appreciate you taking the time to reply.

        I had a quick bash with a nutrition calculator, inputted 3 varieties of food for each category (3 types of green veg etc) which lead to a greater range of nutrients, but I’m not sure how I would be able to present tabular data to you in a comments box.

        Regardless, as far as I’m aware for B12 there’s yeast extract; sweet potato has a high RAE; spinach and grains fortified with iron (non-heme of course but vit c from plant foods help absorption and even meat eaters take iron supplements anyway); lichen based supplements or the sun are available for D3; omega oils can be attained from algae based supplements.

        The core thesis of the Lancet-EAT paper seems to be that shifting to a diet heavier in plant based foods is possible and would be beneficial for the planet. The science is pretty overwhelming on this point, the lancet article cites much of it and here is a review of the impacts of various food types: As for your point on “soil-raping plants”, fertilisers for pasture and arable land are widely produced synthetically, and as an alternative there is the age old practice of plant based green manure ( or the more recent biocyclic method: – I’m not convinced that mass cattle farming and good soil health are linked.

        As has already happened with the relatively small uptake in veggie/vegan type diets creating markets for non-meat derived D3 etc, if people were to shift their diets in the extreme manner argued for in the Lancet paper, and nutrient deficiency ensued, wouldn’t it be likely that fortification and supplementation would become more widespread to make up the difference?


        PPS very interesting fact on potassium

      • ” re-do it and prove me wrong”

        Try this:

        – beef liver instead beef meat (retinol and B12)
        – stinging nettle instead broccoli (yes, we eat stinging nettle in Poland, I love them :) (calcium)
        – mushrooms high in vitamin D instead of cauliflower
        – mackerel or herring instead bass fish (DHA & EPA, also D3 vitamin)
        – black currant instead of apples – this is because vitamin C greatly improve non-heme iron absorption.

        • “beef liver instead beef meat (retinol and B12)”

          Sure, I wholly support eating offal and the whole animal. But, come on, this is not realistic. Liver is only a small portion of the whole animal, the humanity cannot grow cows for their livers and throw out the rest of the animal.

          “stinging nettle instead broccoli (yes, we eat stinging nettle in Poland, I love them :) (calcium)”

          Not eaten in most societies.

          “mushrooms high in vitamin D instead of cauliflower”

          Do you have any idea how expensive mushrooms are? I have no clue how much they cost in Poland, but I have not eaten any mushrooms for years, because here they are not affordable for the average person. Besides, how are you proposing to produce enough mushrooms to feed billions of people with them on a daily basis?

          “mackerel or herring instead bass fish (DHA & EPA, also D3 vitamin)”

          OK, herring is actually cheap and easily available. Still, humanity needs to eat various fishes so as to avoid overfishing the few species you are recommending as the best sources of specific nutrients.

          “black currant instead of apples – this is because vitamin C greatly improve non-heme iron absorption”

          Do you even buy your own food? Or are you so rich that you don’t care? Apples are cheap. Black currant is expensive. Yes, I love the taste of black currant, but I cannot afford to buy enough of them to consume on a daily basis.

          Overall, you are just recommending various unusual or expensive foods that are not reasonably available for the average and probably poor person. Good luck feeding billions of people with fancy delicacies!

  • Science is the new religion to push racketeering schemes on us. In this case anti-nutrient high profit margin grains and energy taxes.

    • “High profit margin” if you mean the corporate buyers who are subsidized by the farmers who have rarely made returns above full costs since 1981, (USDA-ERS Commodity Costs and Returns,) and grain, soy and cotton farmers make less with subsidies than fruit and vegetable farmers make without subsidies (45 fruits and vegetables, as measured by percent of parity prices).

      • Profit margins at the corporate or Rothschild family level I mean, yes. Farmers are like the factory workers in that scheme. Exactly the reason why they add “palm oil” as a seperate entry for instance, the advise is “eat as much industrially produced crops as possible”. But next to being nutritionally deficient, even though they could have simply run the numbers like Zoe did, some of the staple foods advised in this diet, like grains, sugars(fruits),(soy)beans and vegetable oils, are the ones known to cause the metabolic problems/diseases while the nutritionally densest foods, animal protein and fats, are very restricted. Then again healthcare and pharmaceuticals are other very profitable schemes.

  • Thank you for the detailed article with tables. Very useful.

  • I was waiting for someone to rip this apart, wondered if you are going to further dissect this like you did the Naudé Review? Then expose it for the fraud it is!

  • Respecting the natural life and behaviour of food animals by eliminating intensive livestock rearing can reduce the negative contribution of livestock to climate change. Soil is the second largest repository of Carbon (after the oceans) in the world, substantially larger than the atmosphere, vegetation, forests etc. Growing crops for either livestock or human consumption despite no-tillage and planting cover crops still results in soil carbon loss through soil mineralization and erosion. We need to develope perennial grain crops for human, chicken and pigs allowing permanent soil coverage and soil carbon sequestration. Intensive cattle operations (feedlots) need to be banned, we need to change how we rear pigs and chickens.
    Cattle in well managed grazing with stored forage crops for inclement weather and time of year can have a net negative contribution to green house gases despite their methane belching and manure production. This will mean lesser numbers of food animals and more expensive meat (obviously intensive livestock operations work economically if you forget about planetary and ethical consequences).
    Declared biases: Grass fed beef farmer

    • Thanks David – I’m presenting to some Welsh farmers on Monday!
      Best wishes – Zoe

    • However there is still no evidence proving ‘so-called’ green house gases influence climate. Co2 is near inert and has a minimal capacity to absord and transmit heat (and only as IR in limited wavelengths). With its minimal heat capacity (try heating CO2 and Air in belljars in a lab and compare – you’ll not be able to measure a difference!) and at only 0.041% of atmosphere its incapable of affecting climate. Methane does absorb more heat (but not as much as H2O) than CO2 but it is only 0.00018% of atmosphere. So methane has no measurable affect on climate. However, the fluctuating Sun output and our varying orbit and aspect to the Sun has a colossal influence on Earth’s climate (hence the iceages – and another one will come due to our orbit path). As temperature rises more CO2 is released to atmosphere from the oceans (water at 0c will hold twice the CO2 that it can at 30c). Conserve resources and use them well – yes. Worry about CO2 – no, its good for plants and less of a threat to the climate than dragons, vampires and unicorns! But we live in an age of fantasy addictions and scientology!

  • Oliver James: “The only nutrients any species needs are water, oxygen, sunlight, and things that convert to glucose – which are all living things on earth – including humans (we too can convert to glucose if eaten by a lion or hyena). That is hard for you and many others to grasp but that is not so important to understand right now.”

    I’m sorry, but this is just absurdly false. Please describe to me, preferably with strong real-world evidence, the metabolic pathway through which a human can synthesize (in any significant significant amount) Vitamin C from glucose/glucose derivatives, H2O, and O2. Or just demonstrate how the human variant of the GULO gene can magically mutate itself to become functional in humans.

    If you can demonstrate this, every single biology textbook and biochemistry university course in the world needs to be rewritten. Extraordinary claims, extraordinary evidence.

  • Thank you so much for posting this rebuke to the EAT Lancet diet. I could tell it was biased but had no idea it was this flawed. Your work is appreciated, and I hope many others read it.

  • Vitamin D: Sunlight. Most of the vitamin D ingested in food has limited uptake. Just go outside. Also, vitamin D deficiency is extremely rare within the tropical & subtropical latitudes, where most humans live on this planet. The idea that we need to eat animal products to get vitamin D is ridiculous. Unless you have a religious identity that forces you to cover your skin or live above 50deg latitude, you can get this from the sun for free.

    Easily as ridiculous is the idea of sodium deficiency. Humans cook food with salt. People on this diet still use table salt.

    Vitamin K: Most cultures eat fermented foods which can supply this nutrient. We should all eat more fermented foods anyway, they are delicious. Go try some kimchi today.

    Omega-3s: There is a big difference between recommended amounts (based on health benefits) and minimum required. I would say cases of true deficiency, where people have negative pathological diagnoses based on low intake, are (at worst extremely rare). Also, foods such as eggs are easily enriched in Omega-3s through use of enriched chicken feeds with marine components. At the same time, the Omega-3 content of fish, which you mention, is highly dependent on the source. Wild-caught fish (which are quickly disappearing) are indeed high, but farmed fish must get their Omega-3s from feed that also has marine origin, same as in layer feed. There are a number of biotech companies producing high-omega-3 oils from a range of plant sources that will eventually compete with these marine-sourced fish meals as the fish stocks decline, so either way, most of us will eventually be eating mostly plant-sourced omega-3s in the future. Bottom line, most people could stand to eat more omega-3s, but they dont need to get them from meat.

    Iron: Absolutely right that people who eat little meat are much more likely to become deficient in iron. But, unfortunately, iron deficiency (and anemia) is pretty widespread even in many meat-eating populations. Fortunately, iron supplementation and enrichment (as in breakfast cereals) is widespread, simple and highly effective. It’s one of the easiest nutrients to supplement.

    B12 is really the only one on this list that people will have to watch out for. Considering the environmental impact of the dizzying quantity of meat that people eat, coupled with the erupting meat appetite of the rising middle classes in China and India (soon to number in the billions), we better get comfortable with eating less meat or we’re going to run out of forage crop land, irrigation water and soil fertility long before the climate kills us. If that means everyone takes a B12 capsule once a day, it’s worth it.

    Personally, I think the Lancet diet seems spot-on, apart from too few eggs. Eggs can boost some of these critical micronutrients, have a much lower environmental impact than meat, and are at the forefront of many developing countries’ strategy for domestic protein production. Also the health data swing around widely on egg cholesterol but the recent studies suggest a couple eggs a day is fine, especially considering the rest of this heart-healthy diet, so should be fine.

    For all you carb-haters: almost all of humanity has been getting the majority of its calories from carbs of one form or another for at least 6000 years. That’s not gonna change anytime soon. Also, you guys need more fiber.

    Regarding population control: Great concept but hard to implement in practice. Most of the world’s population growth happens in the developing world, not in this culture where we can try to convince people (or even coerce them) to have less kids. The best way to reduce population growth rates is to help populations move up the ladder of the human development index, wherein they will start having fewer kids as their development level increases. In order to do this, we must first bring them up to the socioeconomic status at which they will also want to eat more like we do. Let’s set a good example by developing a reasonable diet now without too much meat in it.

    • Very well said. The demonization of an entire macronutrient is pretty ridiculous. It’s fashionable at the moment to hate on carbs. 25 years ago it was en vogue to hate on fat. Apparently in the 20’s there were diets that hated on protein. Of course, we need balance and should be striving for quality, nutrient dense examples of all macronutrients ie: Steel cut oats are not the same as Wonderbread. But good lord if you talk to someone on one of the fad, high protein diets, both foods have carbs so both are bad for you.
      Also, in my experience I have never known a vegan or vegetarian that wasn’t taking a B12 supplement or eating fortified foods so I don’t think it’s fair to fixate on B12 deficiency with something so easily remedied and commonly known.
      I have however seen a lot of friends and family on Atkins or Paleo diets that get next to ZERO fiber in their diets.
      There is definitely some confirmation bias going on in this rebuttal.

  • Because the climate correlation did not fit their diet they needed to exaggerate foods supposed relationship with the climate to reinforce the belief that eating meat posed a threat to our climate and therefore frighten people into believing that meat posed a threat to their children and their children’s children. Let me explain.

    Atmospheric methane is 0.00017% and N2O 0.00003% they are trace gases like Co2 which occupy 1% of our atmosphere. Normally greens to scare people about cows belching methane say that methane is 20 times more potent a greenhouse gas than Co2. But to make the atmospheric numbers sufficiently threatening to gain traction with the belief that meat poses a threat they say methane is 56 times more potent than Co2 and N2O is 280 times more potent. The reality is that methane absorbs IR in the same waveband as H2O and would have to be 100 times more potent than Co2 to have any influence whatsoever on our atmosphere. As regards N2O because it is just 0.00003% of our atmosphere 280 times bugger all remains bugger all.

    This nonsense is about the Paris Accord which the UNFCC is desperate to impose across the planet.

    Safeguarding human health in the Anthropocene epoch: report of The Rockefeller Foundation-Lancet Commission on planetary health. The Rockefeller Foundation fund Client Earth which makes noise about air pollution and Christiana Figueres ex UNFCC now has a warm chair at Lancet.

    Figueres and Rockefeller are rabidly green and the two of them together represent real misery for everyone else.

    According to UAH satellite data there has been no lower tropospheric warming for 38 years despite the planet emitted 100 trillion tons of Co2 between 2000 and 2010. The greenhouse gas effect happens between ground zero and 8kms. See it here

    Lord Deben CCC to meet demands of the CCA which says the UK needs to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050 remains intent on abolishing livestock farming in the UK because it represents 7% of UK emissions. But the UK emits only 1.2% of global emissions so 7% of UK emissions relates to 2 millionths of global emissions because only 4% of total emissions of Co2 relate to all human behaviour including burning fossil fuels.

    Our atmosphere is 99% water vapour nitrogen 78% and oxygen 21% trace gases are 1%. But listening to alarmism you would be forgiven for believing the numbers are reversed. But remember this government is behind this not greens. This is about the imposition of environmentalist legislation for virtual signalling it will have no beneficial effect on our climate the atmosphere or humanity it is complete unadulterated bilge.

    • Your comments, David, are very interesting. I’d love to read more with citations and references for the data. I’m particularly fascinated with the statement that “only 4% of total emissions of Co2 relate to all human behaviour including burning fossil fuels.” I’m trying to learn more about the science around climate change to create a position in my head before I agree to claims or vote for leaders. Any guidance is much appreciated.

      • To start to learn about climate google one of Prof Bob Carter’s lectures on Utube – very accessable overviews. The most comprehensive book with detailed references would be Prof Ian Plimer’s book ‘heaven and earth’ though he’s written shorter less detailed (angrier) works. A good start is also ‘climate change – the facts 2017’ edited by jennifer marohasy, which gives some detailed alternate science to the myths reported by BBC and MSM. (Note the BBC has a declared policy to not allow scientific debate. It has chosen its sides and refuses to broadcast any science reports that differ from its chosen religious views – i doubt it would allow Zoe’s critique of the Lancet lovies!). Blogs to follow on the debate include ‘notalotofpeopleknowthat’ ‘wattsupwiththat’ ‘’. These will all get you started but there are now hundreds of books exposing the ‘man-made global warming’ fraud, and giving some hard science and history.

  • Thanks for this Zoe. Your post confirms what I already suspected regarding the nutritional paucity of this diet. Then again, that’s to be expected when the study itself was commissioned by leading vegan activist leading Gunhild A. Stordalen and the 7th Day Adventists, who have deep ties to big agriculture and the grain and seed industry.

    From a dietary point of view, they naturally demonise meat, but allow for nearly 600 calories a day from industrial seed oils and, by your calculations, over 300g a day of carbs (mostly from grain and corn). Truly astonishing. If you want to get on the fast train to heart disease and obesity, this is the diet to eat.

  • Thanks Zoe I love your work and timely comments. It helps a lot in debates ;-) Just one question. Did you consider the anti nutrient components of this diet and their effects on nutrient uptake?

    • Hi Erik
      I didn’t – but I did chuckle when a vegan replied by saying that we should all take a nutrient tablet. So what the planet was the point of 37 people debating the perfect diet for 3 years?! Just everyone take a tablet and then what? Eat ruminants to protect top soil and then eat sugar because it tastes nice? Then you’d be into the anti-nutrient effects big time (B/C vits mainly) and then you’d need a bigger vitamin tablet.

      Thankfully many people are responding to this report as if it’s nuts!
      Best wishes – Zoe

  • Understanding chemistry and biology is essential to speaking about nutrients and nutrition. So many things are wrong with this “report”, this “study” – these “findings”. First of all there is zero understanding of the nature of molecules. It all starts there – and most importantly it all ends there.
    When all plants and animals die what occurs is decomposition (bio De grading). This involves and includes the breakdown of all macro -molecules which includes fats, proteins, amino acids, and vitamins.
    One can suspend decay dynamics by immediately freezing animal or plant carcass – but this too can damage, rupture, cell walls – especially in the defrost stage. But once in defrost mode, decay begins again.

    And then, with these dead entities, we have other criteria that can speed up the breakdown of nutrient molecules or eradicate them altogether – oxygen can do this with ascorbic acids (vitamin C). Light can also affect these molecules, molecules that are already being challenged due to decay issues. And of course heat, fire – boiling, baking, frying, nuking, etc – will radically alter each and every nutrient molecule known to man.

    When we prep foods, mix chemicals in with others, lemons, vinegar etc – they too will impact other molecules. Salt has an impact, so too pepper and other spices. And even with fresh raw food, those molecules are damaged by our own hydrocloric acid and other oral and gut enzymes.

    All this should lead u to two conclusions; one – we can’t use molecules from foods as nutrients. Two, we are no different from plants and animals – we too make our own nutrients. We have somehow been led to think we can’t synthesize anything – while all other species can synthesize everything – and we humans have to eat a wide array of everything to get all these nutrients. ?????

    The only nutrients any species needs are water, oxygen, sunlight, and things that convert to glucose – which are all living things on earth – including humans (we too can convert to glucose if eaten by a lion or hyena). That is hard for you and many others to grasp but that is not so important to understand right now. Just realize first that the nutrients you speak to are all manner of compromised and NO ONE ever factors these things in when doing their respective studies and reports – including EAT Lancet.
    I forgot to mention minerals – they are essential to all species but will be in every fresh raw whole food (plant or animal) and in fresh clean water. However, when we over clean, over rinse vegetables and fruit etc. or cook them- minerals will be leached out.

    As for carbohydrates and decay. Yes, these are consumed as well by bacteria. In a fresh kill however, or fresh fruit, the sugar molecule is different from all the other so called nutrient molecules.

    Sugar is also a molecule but unlike proteins or amino acids and vitamins and fat, it falls into a separate class of molecules, what science calls “pure substances”. Whereas a protein say is made up of differing elements, materials, the amino acids, which are each different as well, with different roles and functions, ‘pure substances’ are made of the same material throughout and have the same properties throughout. Pure substances cannot be separated into other substances. Some examples are carbon, iron, sugar, salt, nitrogen gas, and oxygen gas.

    Sugar will break down into sugar – even when you cook it (caramelizing). Unlike your raw egg, with sugar you can also have it sit on a shelf for years and years like in a jar in some lonely all night diner, and it will remain a sugar – or breakdown into another type of sugar as is the case with sucrose, fructose, lactose, honey etc. And each type of those sugars will always still be able to have the same primary function – providing energy, acting as a triggering device to start some chemical process/reaction.
    Feel free if you have any questions. We have the same agenda – I’m just trying to first correct the nutrition narrative in america and beyond – from there, we can begin to address world issues as regards feeding billions etc.

    • Oliver James: “The only nutrients any species needs are water, oxygen, sunlight, and things that convert to glucose – which are all living things on earth – including humans (we too can convert to glucose if eaten by a lion or hyena). That is hard for you and many others to grasp but that is not so important to understand right now.”

      I’m sorry, but this is just absurdly false. Please describe to me, preferably with strong real-world evidence, the metabolic pathway through which a human can synthesize (in any significant significant amount) Vitamin C from glucose/glucose derivatives, H2O, and O2. Or just demonstrate how the human variant of the GULO gene can magically mutate itself to become functional in humans.

      If you can demonstrate this, every single biology textbook and biochemistry university course in the world needs to be rewritten. Extraordinary claims, extraordinary evidence.

  • This was a very interesting reading. I have been sceptic to this EAT-Lancet report in terms of lacking nutrition, and clearly as you are showing here, it is! Thanx for your great work Zoe :-) It’s highly appreciated by many, and very inspiring. Regards Magnus

  • This is just speculation on my part, but at this point given how outrageous these diet studies are, I finally have come to the conclusion that nutrition is probably the last thing that motivates the researchers. You end up not being able to justify the recommendations on any front – nutrition, health, climate, ecological impact, even animal cruelty. I think the forces, which could go all the way back to the middle of the 19th century in the case of the Seventh Day Adventist church, supporting this stuff are just trying to maintain the status quo. That status is a plant based food system – mono crop agriculture, which has had enormous negative impacts on the climate (total destruction of the small water cycle along with the top soil), the management of ruminant animals, and finally human health. Most of this stuff can be traced back to a vision of Ellen G White in the middle of the 19th century. It had nothing to do with science, and when her vision got mixed up with corporate wealth (Kellogg) it was the beginning of the end for the health of the US population and eventually the entire world. Ancel Keys is mostly cited as the fall guy for this fiasco, but you have to ask yourself where he got his ideas. It certainly was not from the data he collected and that has been exposed over and over again.

  • They will say that you can supplement B12. The problem with this advice is, that if you smoke, and many vegans do never mind the other suckers who will believe this guff, supplementing B12 increases the risk of lung cancer 3-4X due to methylation effects (according to the geniuses at Harvard). A lot easier to get the right amount if you don’t need to supplement, it seems.

    • Thanks George – I didn’t know that!
      Best wishes – Zoe

      • Uh, what? B12 is produced only by “certain bacteria, and archaea”. Definitely not humans.

    • Correlation study, there could be confounders. Also, what kind of b12 was used?

    • The most common b12 variant is cyanocobalamin. That is a bit cyanide, yes, the poison that spies use to kill themselves. We shouldn’t use cyanocobalamin.

      Also, it is a correlation, there is no cause and effect relation established.

  • The USDA RDA may not be such a perfect measure of true requirements—at least for some of the nutrients, yes?

    • Hi pmbooks – yes – I totally agree. But it’s a starting point and it’s likely to depict minimum requirements rather than optimal health, so not meeting even these is an issue!
      Best wishes – Zoe

      • The recommended nutrient intake are rather crudely reached.
        Find any cases of acute deficiency, work out how much they had…look at the population and create a normal distribution of intake to get your standard deviations. Got to the 97.5th centile above the deficiency to get a number.
        Human health is ultimately about staying well long enough to reproduce. Could humans reproduce on this diet? Almost certainly as we have through many thousands of years before on less than optimal diets.
        Will humans survive climate collapse? I am not inclined to put much money on it.
        Ultimately this article has done what it should have done – provoked discussion.

        • “Human health is ultimately about staying well long enough to reproduce.”

          I am childfree and sterilized. But I do want to have a long life and good health until I reach very old age, hence I care about eating healthy food.

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