Although most vegetarians and vegans practice meatless diets due to religious or ethical beliefs, there are many who choose to practice these diets for health purposes. The health-conscious are now promoting flexitarianism to their omnivorous friends as it a less rigid way to lead a healthier life.
1. Flexibility is key
The word ‘flexitarian’ is a combination of the words ‘flexible’ and ‘vegetarian’. It is a new way to eat that minimises the amount of meat consumed without eliminating it altogether. There are various approaches to the diet and the best part is that you are in total control of your meatless days or meals but encouraging more vegetarian meals. The beauty of a flexitarian diet is that it encourages you to be accountable for the amount of meat you eat to ease your way into a more green and clean diet.
2. Contributing to weight loss, health, and nature
Research shows that flexitarians not only have lower BMIs, have healthier hearts, live longer lives (an average of 3.6 years longer) and are at a lower risk for type 2 diabetes, while other studies show that a diet heavy with red meats may increase your risk of cancers. Besides reaping the health benefits of a flexitarian diet, cutting down on your meat intake means that you are also doing your part in maintaining the wellbeing of our planet as the livestock industry is a major producer of greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global warming.
3. Do’s and don’ts
To reap the most from a flexitarian diet, try to incorporate as much non-meat proteins into your such as tofu, beans, lentils, nuts and seeds to get your daily dosage of protein, which is important for building and repairing your muscles and tissues. During your meat days, try to limit the portion and not go overboard in your meat intake as it will defeat the purpose of going flexitarian.
If you decide to go flexitarian, remember that it is a lifestyle and not a fad. Like any diet, choosing the right foods such as whole grains and vegetables are more likely to improve your health as compared to refined sugar and processed carbs. Finally, start slow and try to increase your meatless days and you will find yourself feeling lighter and more energetic.
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