- The flexitarian lifestyle combines the words flexible and vegetarian. It primarily follows a vegetarian diet but allows for occasional meat consumption, offering a balanced approach to healthful eating.
- A flexitarian diet puts an emphasis on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts, and seeds. The quantity of lean red meat and poultry is individualized, as per the choices of the follower.
- The meat-free days in a week can gradually increase over time. You can start with one or two days and advance to five vegetarian days a week. Often meat portion sizes would ideally be 4 to 8 ounces.
- Besides plant-based foods, a flexitarian diet can occasionally involve, dairy products, eggs, poultry, and fish. However, this could potentially decrease the health benefits compared to a strictly vegetarian diet.
- Before taking up flexitarian eating, it is recommended to consult a doctor or a nutritionist to ensure the diet suits your health requirements.
Do you aspire to consume more plant-based foods but don’t want to entirely eliminate meat from your diet? The solution could be adopting a flexitarian lifestyle, a happy medium that offers the best of both worlds.
Flexibility in Vegetarianism – The Flexitarian Lifestyle
The term “flexitarian” combines the words flexible and vegetarian. It explores a diet primarily comprising vegetarian food, but allows for occasional meat consumption. This approach to eating imparts the health benefits of a vegetarian diet without enforcing strict limitations.
As a participant of flexitarianism, you enjoy the freedom of prescribing how much meat becomes part of your diet—ideally lean red meat and poultry. However, the spotlight in flexitarian eating is on consumption of an array of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts, and seeds.
The Journey towards Meatless Days
The flexibility of the philosophy also enables you to control the frequency of your meat-free days. You might initiate with one or two days per week, transitioning to three or four, and eventually advancing to comprising five vegetarian days in a week. On days including meat, a portion size of 4 to 8 ounces is advisable.
Permissible Indulgences in Flexitarian Eating
The lack of stringent diet rules allows you to integrate more than solely plant-based foods. Dairy products, eggs, poultry, and fish can have a place in your diet occasionally—if that’s your preference.
However, it is crucial to note that any additions exceeding the parameters of a strict vegetarian regimen could potentially impact the health benefits you are hoping to procure. As per a study published in PLOS Medicine in 2016, a strictly vegetarian diet helped decrease the type 2 diabetes risk by 34 percent, while a flexitarian diet achieved a risk reduction of 20 percent.
Irrespective of your diet decision, converse with your doctor or a nutritionist to ensure that your dietary plan suffices your health requirements.
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics provides more information on how to meet your nutritional needs on a vegetarian diet.