Flexitarian Diet
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Flexitarianism, sometimes known as “casual vegetarianism,” is a style of plant-based eating that is becoming more and more popular. The flexitarian diet is intended to be a more flexible approach to vegetarianism, allowing you to enjoy the health benefits of eating a lot of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains without completely giving up animal items like steak and hamburgers.

People are eating less meat in favor of alternative protein sources to adopt a more environmentally sustainable diet, which has led to the emergence of the flexitarian diet.

What Is A Flexitarian Diet?

The Flexitarian Diet was developed by dietitian Dawn Jackson to help people enjoy the advantages of vegetarian eating while still savoring animal products in moderation.

Flexitarians are not vegetarians or vegans because they consume animal products. Vegans avoid meat, fish, eggs, dairy, and all other animal-derived foods, whereas vegetarians avoid meat and other animal foods.

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fruits and vegetables

How Can The Flexitarian Diet Help You Lose Weight

The Flexitarian Diet promotes weight maintenance by limiting refined sugar and highly processed foods and encouraging the consumption of lower-calorie foods. As a result, people who follow a plant-based diet lose more weight than those who do not.

Other Health Benefits Of The Flexitarian

  • Type 2 Diabetes Risk is Reduced – Vegetarian diets are more effective than “diabetes-friendly” diets in lowering the risk of type 2 diabetes. This is expected to carry over to flexitarian diets to the extent that flexitarians have a lower risk for type 2 diabetes.
  • Environmental Friendly – Becoming vegetarian or vegan is one of the finest things you can do to minimize your carbon footprint because livestock is a significant source of greenhouse gas emissions.
  • More budget-friendlyFlexitarian diets don’t rely on exotic, expensive items or anything other than what you’d typically buy, despite the wide range in how much people spend on grocery shopping.
  • It’s High in Nutrients – One of the most significant advantages of a flexitarian diet is that it allows you to consume more nutrient-dense foods. Nutrient-dense foods contain a high concentration of nutrients in a small number of calories.
  • It is less difficult to follow – The best thing about flexitarian diets is that they are much easier to stick to than vegetarian or vegan diets. Source

Foods That You Can Eat In A Flexitarian Diet

  • Proteins like  soybeans, tofu, tempeh, legumes, lentils
  • Non-starchy vegetables like  greens, bell peppers, Brussels sprouts, green beans, carrots, cauliflower
  • Starchy vegetables like peas, corn, and sweet potato
  • Fruits like apples, oranges, berries, grapes, cherries
  • Whole grains like quinoa, teff, buckwheat, farro
  • Nuts, seeds, and other healthy fats like almonds, flaxseed, chia seeds, walnuts, cashews, pistachios, peanut butter, avocados, olives, coconut
  • Plant-based milk alternatives like unsweetened almond, coconut, hemp, and soy milk
  • Herbs, spices, and seasoning like basil, oregano, mint, thyme, cumin, turmeric, ginger
  • Condiments like reduced-sodium soy sauce, apple cider vinegar, salsa, mustard, nutritional yeast, and ketchup without added sugar
  • Beverages like still and sparkling water, tea, coffee
  • Eggs
  • Poultry and Dairy 
  • Fish
  • Meat

Foods That You Cannot Eat 

  • Processed meats like bacon, sausage, bologna
  • Refined carbs like white bread, white rice, bagels, croissants
  • Added sugar and sweets like soda, doughnuts, cakes, cookies, candy
  • Fast food like fries, burgers, chicken nuggets, milkshakes

A Sample Flexitarian Meal Plan For 1 Week

Monday

  • Breakfast Oatmeal topped with fruit and walnuts
  • Lunch Salad with green veggies, shrimp, corn, black beans, and avocado
  • Dinner Lentil soup with whole grain bread, salad

Tuesday

  • Breakfast Whole-wheat toast with peanut butter, apple slices
  • Lunch Whole grain roti, vegetables, and green beans
  • Dinner Lentil pasta, roasted broccoli

Wednesday

  • Breakfast Oats with apples
  • Lunch Whole grain wrap, vegetables, chickpeas
  • Dinner Grilled salmon, baked sweet potato, green beans
oats apple

Thursday

  • Breakfast Upma and steamed banana
  • Lunch Methi rice along with a vegetable lentil curry of choice
  • Dinner Vegetable sambar with brown rice/2 multigrain roti, non-veg curry

Friday

  • Breakfast Fruit smoothie, Baked kale chips
  • Lunch Black bean veggie burger
  • Dinner Steamed rice with pepper chicken

Saturday

  • Breakfast Greek yogurt with blueberries, pumpkin seeds
  • Lunch Moong dal, bhindi sabzi, 2 rotis
  • Dinner Chicken curry with mixed vegetables, spinach salad

Sunday

  • Breakfast Idli and sambhar
  • Lunch khichdi with sprout salad
  • Dinner Fish curry with brown rice

Tips And Tricks – The Flexitarian Diet for Beginners

  • Consume a lot of fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains.
  • Instead of animal protein, favor plant protein.
  • Be adaptable and often include meat and other animal products.
  • Consume foods that are unprocessed and as natural as possible.
  • Minimize sweets and added sugars.

Disadvantages of The Flexitarian Diet

Starting a flexitarian diet will require you to cut back on your consumption of meat and other animal products. You can experience nutritional shortages in Vitamin B, Zinc, Iron, Calcium, Omega 3 fatty acids as a result. It all relies on the kinds of foods you exclude and whether the proper plant-based foods or supplements are used to replace those nutrients.

Conclusion

The Flexitarian Diet emphasizes complete, minimally processed plant-based meals and healthful plant proteins, but it also promotes the occasional, moderation-based consumption of meat and other animal products.

Consuming flexitarian meals may help you lose weight and lower your chances of developing type 2 diabetes, cancer, and heart disease. It might even benefit the environment.

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