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A little bit of this and a little bit of that is what a flexitarian diet is all about. Actually, it’s a diet that is mostly vegetarian but it allows for an occasional meat dish as well.
The word ‘flexitarian’ is two words combined – flexible and vegetarian. Essentially you increase your intake of plant-based meals but don’t eliminate meat completely. In fact, it includes saving some room for dairy as well as other animal foods.
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You’re enjoying all food groups
What is cool about the flexitarian diet is that it embraces all food groups so you’re getting in all your necessary nutrients. Vegan diets may well have a deficiency of omega-3 fatty acids for instance, but the flexitarian diet allows for flexibility so you can still consume fish to get that er overall nutrient balance.
You aren’t eliminating meat either but are including more vegetarian meals to your diet, particularly those plant-based proteins you get from lentils, beans and nuts.
When you start looking to choose the best meat for your flexitarian diet, you want to pick good quality lean meat such as chicken or turkey. When you consume more plant foods and you reduce your processed meat and snack foods consumption,
There’s the ecological impact of meat production
Besides the health implications though, there is the ecological impact of meat production as well. Production of meat can drain our natural resources. The livestock industry uses a lot of land and most of the grain gown today feeds the animals on this land.
We are destroying our nature reserves, rainforests and grasslands to make room for cattle and meat. And you have to consider how much water the animals use as well. If we reduce our red meat consumption, the reduction in greenhouse gas is reduced.
Apart from what is best for the planet, you can count in some health perks for yourself as well –
- You feel more confident because you’ve done the research on plant-based foods and you feel uplifted that you took the first step and made a start to a healthier new you.
- You know that you’re lowering your chances of succumbing to heart disease and you’ve seen improvements in weight loss too.
- Your memory is sharper than it was.
You can’t ignore these benefits from plant foods as they protect the body and the brain from disease. Eliminating heavily processed foods will also have you feeling more energetic during the day and being able to enjoy deeper, better sleep at night too. A decent night’s rest can have far-reaching health benefits for you too, and this all thanks to your flexitarian diet.
The idea is to slowly ease out meat for plant protein
There are very very people who can say ‘no’ to their egg and bacon breakfasts and processed meats such as bacon, ham, salami and some sausages can still be enjoyed occasionally.
You just have to remember that they are high in salt and saturated fat and they don’t have the vitamins and minerals in amounts that can benefit your health. When it comes to the plant-based side of things, you are adding foods to your diet which are beneficial for your health. Foods such as seeds, nuts, lentils and beans and the soluble fibre found in them is excellent for reducing high cholesterol.
Foods such as flaxseed, sunflower seeds and nuts for instance have good levels of polyunsaturated fats which maintain good cholesterol levels.
People who are lucky to have gardens can have a herb-and vegetable garden – a great way to make sure that the food eaten is providing your body with the best possible nutrition.
You can embrace the Flexitarian diet with ease
People have embraced the flexitarian diet with glee simply because there are no rigid rules to get you depressed about. The diet is flexible and for anyone who knows the benefits of eating a more wholesome diet but who can’t bear to give up every morsel of meat.