Rising in popularity in the last couple of years, the flexitarian diet represents a purposeful movement away from a meat-based diet. While some do this for ethical reasons, there is a range of potential health benefits from adopting the practice.
We take a look at what it is, why it’s a good option & some of the possible health benefits.
What is a flexitarian diet?
A Flexitarian is defined as a person who has a primarily vegetarian diet but occasionally eats meat or fish.
Having said that, in the last 12 months, we’ve seen flexitarian redefined to describe people who normally eat meat, but try to include at least 1-2 plant-based days of eating each week.
It’s a way to cut back on meat and increase your healthy intake of fruit, vegetables and grains.
The key thing to keep in mind is that going flexitarian is not just about reducing your intake of animal products but is also about making smart food choices in general. This means minimally-processed, nutrient-dense vegetables, fruits, grains, and dairy. Sorry team – no doughnuts for brekky.
Why give it a go?
It’s good for you!
More veggies, grains & pulses…. How could that be a bad thing?! These powerhouse plants will help to boost your fibre, antioxidant, vitamin, nutrient, omega 3, mono-unsaturated and poly-unsaturated fat (good fat) intakes. Not to mention, eating less meat can help reduce the amount of saturated fats you’re eating – depending on what meats and cuts of meat you would normally eat.
Some studies have shown that adopting a plant-based diet can help reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes, lower mortality rate (compared to those who eat meat every day), lower risk of cardiovascular disease help reduce cholesterol levels. These are possible health benefits, and research is still being done in this area.
It’s good for the planet
The impact of farming on the environment and the resources that it can take to produce meat can be substantial. So even a slight reduction of your meat intake can make a big difference.
Broaden your culinary horizons
If you don’t normally go vegetarian or this is your first foray into flexitarian life, it is a good opportunity to try something new – whether it’s a meal or cuisine you haven’t had before or some vegetables or grains that are new to you (get your freekeh on!). Look up recipes online, or grab one of our meals that are balanced & ready to go for some inspiration.
Take some of your most loved meals and see if you can make them vegetarian! Stir Fry, pastas, curries, and even pizza can all be delicious, without the meat. Our advice is to make sure you don’t skimp on flavour using herbs and spices. If you’re not sure where to start, check out our range of vegetarian & vegan options – with meals like Indian Vegetable Curry with Basmati Rice, even the meat-lovers in your life will be happy.
With more & more brilliant plant-based meals and recipes out there, it’s easier than ever to try going plant-based in some way. Get creative, adventurous and try something new!