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How to Become a Flexitarian: Getting Started & Health Benefits

by Busines Newswire
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The flexitarian diet is a way of eating that encourages mostly eating plant-based foods while allowing meat and other animal products in moderation. The perfect eating style for anyone unable to commit to going full-on vegan or vegetarian, the diet of a flexitarian is varied and nutritious.

If you think you would like to try being a flexitarian but are not sure how to get started or even if this is the right lifestyle choice for you, the below guide is just what you need.

What is the flexitarian diet?

As mentioned briefly above, the flexitarian diet centers around plant-based foods, but you are still allowed to eat meat and other animal products. If you deconstruct the word “flexitarian”, you will see that it is made up of two words: flexible and vegetarian, both of which are key components of this style of eating.

While there are no clear-cut rules to this diet, you are encouraged to eat a lot of fruits, vegetables, legumes, and wholegrains, as well as a limited amount of meat. As a flexible diet, the onus is more focused on the foods you can eat, rather than the ones you should avoid.

What are the health benefits of being a flexitarian?

There are several health benefits associated with being a flexitarian,including:

  • Reduced risk of heart disease
  • Enhanced weight management
  • Reduced risk of type 2 diabetes
  • Reduced risk of certain cancers, particularly colon cancer

Reducing your consumption of meat can also help to preserve the world’s natural resources by decreasing greenhouse gas emissions.

What foods can you eat as a flexitarian?

With a flexitarian diet, you are encouraged to eat plenty of whole plant proteins rather than processed ones, such as soybeans, tofu, tempeh, legumes, and lentils. You should also try to eat both starchy vegetables like corn and sweet potatoes and non-starchy ones, including bell peppers, green beans, and carrots.

You should also try to eat fruits such as oranges, apples, berries, and grapes, but not in excessive amounts, as these contain a lot of natural sugars.

Plant-based milk such as almond milk, coconut milk, oat milk, and soy milk are also good for you and can help you transition to this new style of eating without having to give up all your favorite foods and drinks. You can find high-quality oat milk at myom.shop– for instance, you can get oat milk that you make up at home by simply adding water as and when you want it.

What foods should you limit/avoid?

There are certain foods that you should aim to limit or ideally avoid when following a flexitarian diet. These include:

  • Processed meats like bacon, burgers and sausages
  • Refined carbohydrates such as white bread and white rice
  • Foods with added sugars or sweeteners, like soda and candy
  • Fast food such as fries, fried chicken and milkshakes

The bottom line

Although not for everyone, the flexitarian diet is a good choice for those who want to eat more plant-based foods but are not able to fully give up meat and other animal products. You can start slowly if you are worried about missing meat and gradually increase your intake of plant-based foods.