With veganism taking over in full force, there have also come a series of unrelenting issues with the same. Not everyone can follow such a strict regime and with limited products that are linked to veganism and not many stores providing the most, the ‘go greeners’ are in a state of flux. Also, going all out vegan, cold turkey can be more than what people can chew at times. What follows is a balance of both the worlds in a way that can be manageable and holistic at the same time.
The concept of flexitarianism is exactly what it sounds like. To be flexible with your diet and getting a detox from all and any dietary restrictions / inhibitions and upheaval there is. This might just sound hypocritical, unreliable and constantly fluctuating for some, but it all boils down to how you want your food and when your body calls for a certain diet. It’s like a diet you have while working out, you change things in accordance with what your body asks for and how you react to certain foods.
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What is a Flexitarian Diet?
If you want to opt for something that is not so strict and hell-bent with ironclad rules on what to eat, flexitarianism is the answer. It does not involve many calories and you get to enjoy meat, time and again. Sounds like a dream come true, doesn’t it and it sure is like that.
Flexitarian is a combination of flexible – vegetarian, it is like the best crossover episode you can imagine! It is an alternative to just being a vegan or even just a vegetarian. You can create a diet plan that works best for what you feel like, involving all the three major dietary needs. You get to focus on food grains, nuts, legumes, meats, dairy; basically any and everything under the sun of food.
So, if a particular dietary lifestyle doesn’t suit you, this is the escape to freedom that you have been looking forward to.
Healthiest Meats to include
When it comes to healthy meats people are more often than not, gravitated towards whiter meats like chicken or turkey. Processed meats like bacon, salami and ham are to be avoided as they have unnecessary amounts of saturated fats and salt, with little attention to essential nutrients and vitamins.
A research conducted by the World Health Organization revealed that consuming just 50 grams of processed meat can drastically increase the risk of colon and rectal cancer. So it makes it clear to stay away from these as far as possible.
Benefits of a Flexitarian Diet
No matter what you think about dieticians recommending exotic, sometimes impossible diets they are right about one thing. They ask you to include and focus on fruits and veggies and that is exactly what a Flexitarian diet does too. There are many health benefits to including fruits and vegetables to your diet –
- They decrease the risk of heart diseases.
- They help in losing weight
- Decrease risk of Type 2 diabetes and even helps manage pre-diabetes.
- Environment Friendly as you are decreasing the carbon footprint by minimising meat consumption.
Even with all these positives in the diet, there can be and are downsides to it.
Some people can get nutrient deficiencies with this diet on vitamins like B-12 , zinc and even calcium.
How to get necessary nutrients
With a flexitarian diet, you need to have plant based foods every meal you eat. That should include many portions of fruits, vegetables and wholegrain foods spread across a 5-6 food course a day. Sources of iron like green veggies like sage, broccoli, cabbages are a must in particular as you won’t be eating enough meat regularly to get your iron replenishment. Use fruit drinks, fresh fruit juices to get the vitamins and nutrients to keep your body healthy and full of nourishment. You can always get some meat every now and then, but you can’t be wholly dependent on it for your nutrient intake.