The Flexitarian Diet is basically a vegetarian diet that allows for occasional meat consumption. Doctors and nutritionists have always espoused this type of diet, but the term 'flexitarian' wasn't coined until about 2002. Let's review the Flexitarian Diet.
Flexitarianism espouses a diet based on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, legumes and dairy products, with only occasional meat consumption. Scientists believe that, thousands of years ago, man evolved to thrive on a mostly vegetarian diet, and that's why excessive meat consumption leads to health problems. Nutritionists recommend limiting meat consumption to two or three meals a week, and that's what the Flexitarian Diet is based on.
The Flexitarian Diet promises to lower your risk of high blood pressure, heart disease and heart attacks, while making it easier for you to maintain a healthy weight. Vegetarians and flexitarians weigh, on average, about 15% less than heavy meat eaters, simply because they aren't regularly consuming the high levels of fats and saturated fats found in meat.
The Flexitarian Diet is a permanent lifestyle choice. Many people choose the Flexitarian Diet out of concern for the environment, since producing meat for consumption takes a heavy toll on natural resources. Others wish to reduce meat consumption because they're concerned about the cruelty issues surrounding the meat industry. Some Flexitarians simply wish to protect their health.
A flexitarian is a vegetarian who occasionally eats meat. The term may apply to someone who eats vegetarian dishes at home, but will eat meat when dining our or at someone else's home. The term may also apply to those who eat only poultry, only fish, or poultry and fish; it can even apply to those who eat poultry, fish, seafood, red meat and pork if they eat these meats only occasionally. Flexitarians recognize the negative health consequences that eating meat can have and choose to eat meat sparingly, the way you should drink alcohol sparingly.
Most flexitarians only eat free range, organic meats. Free range organic meats are the healthiest meats available, and they're produced according to environmentally sound practices. Most flexitarians don't eat veal, and they should avoid fish that contains high levels of mercury and other pollutants in favor of farmed fish. Flexitarians often prefer organic eggs and milk farmed from free range cattle and chickens.
What to Get Excited Over
The Flexitarian Diet offers you the health benefits of vegetarianism, without asking you to give up meat. It teaches you healthy eating habits and can help you get a taste for healthy foods. The Flexitarian Diet is very healthy and sustainable in the long term, and it can help you keep the weight off.
Things to Consider
You'll have to take it upon yourself to eat healthfully on the Flexitarian Diet, and you'll have to make permanent changes to your eating and exercise habits.
The Flexitarian Diet is a healthy diet, and perfect for those who aren't ready to take the plunge into vegetarianism. Combined with regular exercise, the Flexitarian Diet can help you achieve long term weight loss.