FLEXITARIAN IS THE NEW BLACK!

FLEXITARIAN IS THE NEW BLACK!

Like the idea of being a vegetarian, but don’t want to give up that Sunday pub roast? Problem solved – become a flexitarian, or as some people call it – a vegetarian with benefits. Instead of committing to a full-time plant-based diet, flexitarianism offers the compromise of primarily following a vegetarian lifestyle with the addition of the occasional meat-based meal.
And the best part, as its name states, is that it is completely flexible – you can choose to incorporate meat, fish or poultry as frequently as once per day, or as simply as once per week.
Flexitarian is the new black! | Fresh Fitness Food Blog

So why would on choose to be a casual vegetarian? The benefits are quite diverse:
(1)Improved health: Studies have shown that flexitarians have lower BMIs, as well as a lower risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes and heart disease. This could be attributed to the fact that plant-based foods have less saturated fat and more fibre than red meat, which is quite high in fat and harder for our bodies to digest.
(2)Heal the Earth: When you consider that up to 80% of greenhouse gas emissions associated with food is attributed to the production of livestock, it’s a no-brainer that eating less meat is better for the environment. Recent studies have shown that opting for at least five portions of plant-based foods and half a portion of red meat per day would cut greenhouse gas emissions associated with food by 29%.
(3)Keep off those extra KGs: Research has shown that vegetarians tend to eat few calories and weigh approximately 15% less than non-vegetarians. But you don’t need to eliminate meat entirely to reap the benefits, with a 6 year-long study published in 2003 confirming that flexitarians tend to weigh less than carnivores.
Whether you are looking to slowly cut down on meat, or you are a vegetarian looking to reintroduce meat in to your diet, going semi-veggie is easier than you think.
Whilst other diets focus on elimination, flexitarianism is based on the principle that you are eating a balance of fruits and veggies, whole grains, dairy and vegetarian-friendly protein sources such as lentils, chickpeas, tofu and eggs, with the addition of the occasional meat-based meal. Choosing beans and leafy greens will ensure you are still getting iron, and pairing grains with legumes (eg. rice and lentils) will provide you with the complete amino acid profile, which are the building blocks of protein.
Including animal sources like dairy and meat and will make sure that you are still receiving adequate sources of Vitamin B12, which is crucial for enzyme production, hormonal balance, and maintaining a healthy cardiovascular system. And most importantly, think quality over quantity! Reduce your portion sizes and opt for grass-fed meat and sustainable, seasonal sources of fish.
So whether its swapping out the chicken in your salad for a cup of lentils or quinoa, or introducing a Meat-Free Monday to your week, the flexitarian promotes balance, rather than elimination, giving you the best of both worlds.
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