A flexitarian diet is a vegetarian diet that allows occasional meat consumption. This diet is becoming popular as people look for healthier and more sustainable ways to eat. A flexitarian diet can be a great way to easily cut down on animal-based foods and improve health.
A flexitarian diet focuses on eating plant-based foods with a small percentage of animal foods. Since flexitarians do have a small consumption of meat and animal-based products, they are not considered vegetarians.
The key to a successful flexitarian diet is ensuring that most of your food comes from plant-based sources. You can incorporate plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes. You can achieve a healthy and balanced diet by occasionally having foods from different food groups.
A flexitarian diet is healthier than a traditional meat-based diet. Excessive meat consumption has been linked to health problems such as heart disease, cancer, and obesity. On the other hand, plant-based foods are associated with lower rates of these diseases. Additionally, a flexitarian diet is rich in fiber, antioxidants, and other beneficial nutrients for your health making it an ideal choice for anyone wanting to get healthy.
Following a flexitarian diet is extremely easy and affordable. Many healthy and delicious plant-based foods are available at your local grocery store which presents a variety of options for you to choose from. In addition, eating meat occasionally can help you save money on groceries. If you are looking for a more sustainable, healthy, and affordable way to eat, consider following a flexitarian diet. You will be amazed at the difference it can make!
Rules for Flexitarian Diet
A flexitarian diet is quite flexible and easy to maintain. There are no fixed numbers of calories in a flexitarian diet; instead, it is more based on following a healthy lifestyle by including more greens, whole-grain products and reducing animal-based options.
Following a flexitarian diet doesn't restrict you from eating your favorite foods; it just encourages you to make healthier choices most of the time. There are many benefits of following a flexitarian diet, such as reducing your risk of heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. Additionally, a flexitarian diet can help you maintain a healthy weight and minimize the harmful environmental impact.
The plant-based options in this diet include fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, nuts, and seeds. Flexitarians may also include dairy products, eggs, and meat in moderation.
Since there are no set rules for a flexitarian diet, it can be tailored to fit an individual's needs and preferences. For example, someone who wants to lose weight could focus on eating fruits and vegetables, while someone who wants to maintain their current weight could include more high-calorie foods like nuts and seeds.
Some of the fundamental rules to follow in a flexitarian diet are here:
- Make sure that you are taking enough protein. This can be done by including plenty of high-protein foods in your diet, such as meat, poultry, fish, eggs, and legumes.
- Try to eat mostly plant-based foods. This will help ensure that you're getting the nutrients your body needs.
- Make sure to include a variety of fruits and vegetables in your diet; this will provide you with essential vitamins and minerals, and antioxidants, which can help protect your body against disease.
- Be mindful of your portion sizes; overeating can undo all of your excellent work. Hence it is essential to maintain a balance.
A Flexitarian diet provides you with the freedom to eat anything you want. People have more responsibility to go for healthier options as one wrong choice can affect everything. People who have a specific medical condition such as heart disease need to ensure that their food choices are correct that do not aggravate the problem.
Health Benefits of Flexitarian Diet
The health benefits of a flexitarian diet are vast. A flexitarian diet is vegetarian primarily, with the occasional inclusion of meat or fish. The flexitarian diet has offered several health benefits, including weight loss, lower blood pressure, and a reduced risk of heart disease.
1. May Aid in Weight Loss
Flexitarians typically have a lower body mass index than those who eat a traditional meat-based diet. Vegetarian diets are generally lower in calories and unhealthy fats than meat-based diets. Additionally, vegetarians tend to consume more fruits and vegetables, which are packed with antioxidants and other beneficial nutrients for health.
Plant-based foods are considered a famous, and go-to approach while working on weight loss programs. According to a cohort study that continued for 4 years, a healthier consumption of nutritious plant-based foods had a significant effect on preventing weight gain. In order to boost the effects of this diet, you can combine it with fat burner pills. DMoose is an incredibly reliable choice in this matter.
2. May Aid in Hypertension
A study published in the journal Hypertension showed that a vegetarian diet could help lower blood pressure. The study participants who switched to a vegetarian diet saw a significant reduction in their blood pressure levels. A vegetarian diet is high in potassium, magnesium, and fiber, beneficial for blood pressure control like a flexitarian diet.
Plant-based foods and minor consumption of healthy animal-based foods significantly affect systolic and diastolic blood pressure. Hypertensive people need a healthy balance of nutrients. Overeating fat, high sodium in foods, refined carbs, and low vegetable intake affects their blood pressure. On the contrary, plant-based foods help them in the management of hypertension.
3. May Reduce Risk of Heart Diseases
A Flexitarian diet emphasizes eating more plant-based foods with high fiber content. According to studies, a high fiber diet plays a significant role in reducing the risk of coronary heart disease. Hence, it is essential to include more vegetarian options in the diet as it might help manage heart diseases and problems.
Plant-based foods also help in managing weight and improve the nutritional status. In this way, you can also improve your health status and immunity, which then works to reduce the severity of the disease. Animal foods, on the other hand, are connected to an increased risk of heart diseases due to their high saturated fat content.
4. May Aid in Kidney Problems
A Flexitarian diet is also a great approach to managing many kidney problems. According to research, a diet containing high consumption of plant foods is linked with a reduced risk of chronic kidney disease. With that, a plant-based diet may also help prevent kidney-related problems.
Plant-based foods have a lower phosphorous content than animal foods which are helpful in overcoming chronic kidney disease. Not only that, but they also play a crucial role in managing the complications associated with CKD, as per research.
Special Considerations About Flexitarian Diet
Even though practicing a flexitarian diet comes with many benefits for health, there are still some drawbacks associated with this lifestyle. The flexitarian diet includes a small proportion of animal-based products, including meat, eggs, milk, and seafood. The animal-based products have a high content of essential nutrients like zinc, iron, and B vitamins.
With that, animal-based foods also contain omega 3 fatty acids and calcium. Hence, it is crucial not to deprive yourself of these essential nutrients. Many people following a flexitarian lifestyle unintentionally cut down animal foods from their diet as they consider it a vegetarian diet.
The truth is that the flexitarian diet is mainly based on the idea of maintaining a balance. You need to design your meal plans by including all food groups. By including all food groups in moderation, your body will access all-important nutrients. Try taking Omega-3 fish oil supplement along with this diet and the results will definitely impress you.
Foods to Include in Flexitarian Diet
A flexitarian diet is a great way to include more plant-based foods while still eating fruits, meat, and other animal products. Here are some of the best foods to include in your flexitarian diet:
- Vegetables: All types of vegetables are a great addition to a flexitarian diet. Try to include various colors and types to get the most benefit from their nutrients. For instance, greens, bell peppers, brussels sprouts, green beans, carrots, cauliflower, winter squash, peas, corn, and sweet potato.
- Fruits: Like vegetables, all types of fruits are a good choice for a flexitarian diet. Include various fruits to get the most benefit from their nutrients and flavors. For instance, apples, oranges, berries, grapes, and cherries.
- Beans: Beans are an excellent source of protein, fiber, and other vital nutrients. They can be eaten cooked or in salads or soups.
- Nuts: Nuts are another great source of protein and fiber. They can also be high in healthy fats, so enjoy them in moderation. For instance, almonds, flaxseed, chia seeds, walnuts, cashews, pistachios, peanut butter, avocados, olives, and coconut.
- Dairy: Dairy products, such as milk, yogurt, and cheese, are a good source of protein and calcium. They can be enjoyed in moderation as part of a flexitarian diet.
- Whole Grains: Whole grains are a good source of fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Try to include whole-grain bread, pasta, quinoa, teff, buckwheat, farro, and cereals in your diet.
- Plant-based Protein: Including plant-based proteins in your flexitarian diet is a great way to ensure you're getting the nutrients your body needs. For instance, soybeans, tofu, tempeh, legumes, lentils
- Animal-based Products: Flexitarian diet includes some animal-based products as well. These include eggs, meat, poultry, and seafood.
7-Day Flexitarian Diet Plan
Breakfast: 1 cup steel-cut oats with 1 apple, 1 tbsp. milled flaxseed, and dash of cinnamon
Lunch: 1 bowl salad with greens, shrimp, corn, black beans, and avocado
Dinner: 1 cup lentil soup with whole-grain bread and a side salad
Daily Totals: 1,559 calories, 72 g protein, 149 g carbohydrates, 75 g fat
Breakfast: 2 whole-grain toast with avocado and 2 poached eggs
Lunch: A burrito bowl with 1 cup brown rice, 1 cup beans, and vegetables
Dinner: 2 oz. zucchini noodles with tomato sauce and 1 cup white beans
Daily Totals: 1,555 calories, 68 g protein, 170 g carbohydrates, 67 g fat
Breakfast: 1 cup coconut yogurt with two bananas and eight walnuts
Lunch: 1 whole grain wrap with hummus, vegetables, and chickpeas
Dinner: 3 oz. grilled salmon, baked sweet potato, and green beans
Daily Totals: 1,578 calories, 55 g protein, 146 g carbohydrates, 86 g fat
Breakfast: 1 glass smoothie made with unsweetened almond milk, spinach, peanut butter, and frozen berries
Lunch: 1 bowl kale Caesar salad with lentils and 1 cup tomato soup
Dinner: 4 oz. baked chicken, quinoa, and roasted cauliflower
Daily Totals: 1,548 calories, 60 g protein, 165 g carbohydrates, 72 g fat
Breakfast: 1 cup Greek yogurt with blueberries and 2 tbsp. pumpkin seeds
Lunch: 2 chard wraps with mixed veggies and peanut dipping sauce
Dinner: 1 bowl lentil stew and a side salad
Daily Totals: 1,551 calories, 64 g protein, 155 g carbohydrates, 75 g fat
Breakfast: 2 over-easy eggs with sautéed veggies and fruit salad
Lunch: Peanut butter sandwich with crushed berries on two whole grain breads
Dinner: 1 black bean burger with avocado and sweet potato fries
Daily Totals: 1,509 calories, 67 g protein, 200 g carbohydrates, 49 g fat
Breakfast: Tofu scramble with mixed veggies and spices
Lunch: 1 bowl quinoa salad with dried cranberries, pecans, and feta cheese
Dinner: Stuffed bell peppers with 4 oz. ground turkey and a side salad
Daily Totals: 1,572 calories, 72 g protein, 150 g carbohydrates, 76 g fat
A Flexitarian diet emphasizes including healthy and nutritious foods. There are no defined rules to follow this lifestyle, nor does it come with a set of guidelines. There are also no caloric restrictions while you are following a flexitarian diet.
A Flexitarian diet resembles a vegetarian lifestyle, but the fundamental difference includes animal-based products. You need to make sure that you include all healthy food products in your diet. A Flexitarian diet also has many health benefits, such as managing weight and dealing with heart diseases. It is easy to maintain and provides you with the freedom to eat anything you want but in moderation.
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