Switching to a healthier diet, with less meat consumption, is a win-win situation for the environment, according to a new study published by the journal Nature Sustainability. Even without completely giving up meat, we can reduce our individual water consumption by at least 10%, according to BBC News.

Adopting a diet with a healthy proportion of meat can reduce water consumption by 11-35%. A healthy pescetarian diet (vegetarian + fish and shellfish) would reduce the water footprint between 33% and 35%, and a healthy vegetarian diet, between 35% and 55%.

Currently, the individual water footprint associated with food is 3,861 litres/day in France, 2,929 litres/day in Germany, and 2,757 litres/day in the United Kingdom. Although we have gradually become aware of the efficient use of water in the home – in terms of the use of taps and showers -, we have not become equally aware of the water consumption associated with food production. Raising cattle involves the use of large amounts of water, and also the production of oils, sugars and fats requires a lot of water resources. On the other hand, obtaining fruit and vegetables is more efficient in terms of water consumption, as well as being a product to be incorporated in greater quantities into our diet.

In addition to water consumption, we must not forget the effect of our dietary choices on CO2 emissions and methane, deforestation for pastures and plantations, and ultimately, climate change.