More and more people are starting to shift to a vegetarian or vegan diet as it’s considered better for the health and the environment. But what if you’re not ready to commit to eating plant-based meals for the rest of your life? There’s actually a term for this semi-vegetarian lifestyle and it’s called the flexitarian diet.
What does Flexitarian Mean?
The term “flexitarian” is a combination of the words “flexible” and “vegetarian.” It was coined by registered dietitian Dawn Jackson Blatner in 2009 after recognizing that majority of Midwesterners couldn’t stick to a strictly plant-based diet. She further discusses the term in her book, The Flexitarian Diet: The Most Vegetarian Way to Lose Weight, Be Healthier, Prevent Disease, and Add Years to Your Life.
Why should you go on a Flexitarian Diet?
According to Blatner, you don’t have to restrict meat products to reap the health and environmental benefits of vegetarianism. For the most part, you’ll be sticking to a plant-based diet while occasionally allowing yourself to indulge in a good burger or steak. It’s also more sustainable in the long run and easier to stick to because there’s no elimination of any food groups.
What to eat in a Flexitarian Diet?
The Flexitarian Diet ranks second as the Best Diets Overall and is considered one of the easiest diets to follow. Rather than eliminating any food groups, it’s a lifestyle that emphasizes eating plant-based foods like lentils, beans, peas, nuts, and seeds and consuming animal-derived items in moderation. Aim for at least 50% of fruits and vegetables and as little meat and dairy as possible.
With so many diets out there, figuring out which one best suits you and your eating habits can be arduous. The flexitarian diet, however, remains to be a popular choice because it isn’t rigid with food rules and the health and environmental benefits are appealing.
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