Flexitarian Diet: What You Should Know

This helps the reader adjust to eating meat on an occasion, or as a garnishment or condiment rather than a main source of the meal plan.

Relaxed Eating

Eating this may be better embraced than going totally vegan or vegetarian because of its flexibility.  People who follow this diet are happier than on stricter diets because of the option to eat animal protein if they desire. 

You can reap many of the benefits of vegetarianism without totally giving up some of your favorite foods.

Following this diet may be easier to adapt to because it has less restrictions.

Sample Flexitarian Menu

Breakfast: Oatmeal with a ½ teaspoon of honey and sprinkled cinnamon, sliced tomatoes 

Lunch: Mediterranean Salad with Romaine lettuce, onions, tomatoes, chick peas, black olives, feta cheese and balsamic /vinaigrette dressing

Dinner: Baked Eggplant, steamed vegetables and a side of brown or wild rice

Snacks: Nuts, hummus with pita chips, fruit

Healthier Way of Living

A six-year study of 38,000 adults, published in the International Journal of Obesity, found that people who ate high amounts of meat protein weighed more than those who followed a flexitarian diet.

The author also states that Flexitarians weigh 15% less, have a lower rate of heart disease, diabetes, and cancer and live 3.6 years longer than those who follow a diet that is high in animal protein.

Where Else Do We Get Our Protein?

A concern with following this way of eating is whether an adequate amount of protein can be consumed from plant-based protein.

Although meat and fish are only eaten on occasion, there are many plant-based foods that contain great amounts of protein.

It’s just a matter of including these foods in your diet throughout the day.

How Should Your Plate Look?

Eating more vegetables and less meat is the key to following the flexitarian diet successfully.

Therefore, it is recommended by Blatner, that 50% of your plate consist of vegetables, 25% whole grains, and 25% protein.

Vegetables should be plentiful, and it is encouraged to eat more leafy greens such as kale and spinach. Whole grains will include foods like quinoa and brown rice.

However, most of your protein will consist of foods such as peas, beans, lentils, eggs, nuts and seeds with occasional meat protein.

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