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What is a Flexitarian Diet?

Flexitarian (Flexible Vegetarian) is a relatively new term that defines someone who follows a vegetarian diet while including meat from time to time.

The flexitarian diet, also known as the semi-vegetarian movement, has been around since 2019 and is fast gaining popularity.  

So what is a flexitarian diet? Quite simply, it’s high plant-based eating while allowing meat and other animal products in moderation, a more flexible alternative to a fully vegetarian or vegan diet.

Obviously, for vegetarians or vegans, flexitarianism can be seen as cheating! However, for many, it’s a realistic way to reduce our meat in our diets. Becoming vegetarian or vegan is simply not feasible for a lot of people – or they simply don’t want to completely give up their burgers and steak, and I completely understand! While the science supports the many benefits of moving towards a more plant-based diet, the flexibility of the flexitarian diet makes it realistic and achievable. We can benefit from the health effects without having to eliminate the foods they enjoy. 

What I like about a flexitarian diet is that it focuses on what to include rather than what to restrict. It is a popular choice for people looking to eat healthier, as well as reduce their carbon footprint by eating less meat.  

The flexitarian diet has no clear-cut rules or recommended numbers of calories and macronutrients. In fact, it’s more of a lifestyle than a diet:

  • Eat mostly fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains.
  • Focus on protein from plants instead of animals.
  • Be flexible and incorporate good quality meat and animal products from time to time.
  • Eat the least processed, most natural forms of foods.
  • Limit added sugar and sweetners.

Whether you choose to go meat free on Mondays, only eat meat on the weekend, or just reduce your meat, a balanced and sensible diet, based on plenty of vegetables, wholegrains, beans, pulses and fruits is key.

If you’re looking to add more plant foods to your diet but don’t want to completely cut out meat, going flexitarian may be for you. I may just try it myself!

See you next week and see you at the Club soon!

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