With more and more people around the world eating less meat, here we look at some of the benefits of adopting a flexitarian diet.
The phrase flexitarian, which describes an individual “whose usual meatless diet sometimes contains meat or fish,” was first seen in the Merriam-Webster dictionary in 2012. Since then it has rapidly become one of the most popular diets as it combines a healthy, ethical lifestyle and a smaller environmental footprint.
Let’s take a closer look at 10 key benefits becoming a flexitarian can bring you.
You’ll be healthier
Dietitians and other healthy-eating specialists believe that by cutting down your meat intake and consuming more plant-centric meals you will also reap all of the advantages of becoming a vegetarian.
An interesting study showed that a person eating a semi-vegetarian diet to have lower body weight than someone who consumes meat daily, as well as a lower prevalence of cardiovascular disease and lower risk of type II diabetes.
You can start with one meal a day as plant-based and build up from there. If you do choose to eat meat, portion it as a side dish.
It’s good for the environment
A diet which contains fewer meat and dairy products can be of great benefit to the world. This would help to reduce greenhouse gas pollution from farming, which would also mitigate eutrophication, land and water usage, and environmental acidification.
Livestock is a major cause of greenhouse gas pollution and one of the easiest ways you can reduce your carbon footprint is to go vegetarian or vegan. Transitioning to a flexitarian diet also provides plenty of the same environmental advantages, based on how often you limit your meat intake.
It’s not so expensive
There is no need for expensive ingredients, so foodstuffs do not cost more than they normally do. Avoiding the butcher often leads to keeping the cost respectable. The personalized design of the diet gives you more money saving options – for example, by making dinner out of whatever products are on offer. There is no subscription charge, but you may want to buy the book “The Flexitarian Diet.”
You’ll sleep better
When you restrict highly refined foods and choose plant foods, you can notice that throughout the day you feel much better and that you sleep well at night, too. Proper sleep may have much-reaching effects, including reduced resistance to the common cold.
You can become self-sufficient
Not everybody can raise their own meat, but a few herbs and vegetables can be cultivated by almost anyone. This is a major advantage of the flexitarian diet and other diets focused on eating mostly vegetables. Furthermore, a modest vegetable garden will provide an average family with all the greens they need without the use of herbicides and pesticides.
You’ll help reduce animal suffering
While many people prefer to follow a flexitarian lifestyle to boost their well-being, they are often inspired by concerns with animal welfare. A lot of goats, pigs, chickens and cows may have lived their life in crowded and unhealthy environments. Look out for the products you purchase – either natural, free-range or from a nearby butcher or farm store where you can find a little about the life of the animal.
You can maintain your essential nutrients
By having some types of meat in your diet, you can get the advantages of B vitamins, iron, omega-3 fatty acids and other health-critical nutrients that are more easily accessible in meat foods. Because of this, it’s essentially the third healthiest diet in the U.S. according to the News and World Report.
Eat the foods you love
No foods in the flexitarian lifestyle must be totally removed. Rather, the emphasis is on adding more plant-based foods while restricting your overall meat intake. Since all foods suit this diet, you can easily create meals around the foods you love. You can also head to a friend’s dinner party or visit a restaurant while following the main values of this diet
You’ll eat better quality foods
Adopt a flexitarian mindset and you’ll ensure your meat consumption is of the highest quality: free-range chicken, grass-fed cattle, fish captured in the wild, etc. Keep away from fried and processed meats such as salami, sausage and bacon. Purchase the absolute best the pocket allows when buying meat products or dairy. Your body will benefit from eating smaller portions of animal products than the larger volumes you may have been used to.
Join A-list celebrities!
Meghan Markle embraces a flexitarian lifestyle. She mentioned in Better Health magazine that she follows a vegan diet during the week and for balance she becomes more flexible at the weekend.
Famous TV personality Ellen DeGeneres previously adopted a vegan diet entirely. However, she has now moved to a flexitarian way of life which is more versatile for her. Although she still believes veganism is healthy for you, she has chosen to start consuming fish and eggs again.