The Part-Time Vegetarian Diet

The Part-Time Vegetarian Diet

You’ve heard of vegans, who refrain from eating animal products of any kind; pescatarians, who only eat fish; and even pollotarians, who only eat poultry and fowl, but have you heard of flexitarians? According to Vegetarian-Nation, flexitarians, or part-time vegetarians consume a predominantly plant-based diet, but occasionally indulge in meat.

While some vegetarians deny that flexitarians are vegetarians, there are several benefits that lifestyle can offer both the health of the person adopting the diet and that of the environment. Through this article, we’ll explain what the flexitarian diet is and how it can be beneficial to both your health and the environment.

What is a flexitarian?
A flexitarian, also referred to as a part-time vegetarian, is a person who consumes a predominantly vegetarian diet, but occasionally indulges in the consumption of meat. Dawn Jackson Blatner, dietitian and author of “The Flexitarian Diet: The Mostly Vegetarian Way to Lose Weight, Be Healthier, Prevent Disease, and Add Years to Your Life,” states that the flexitarian diet “gives you the health benefits of a vegetarian diet without having to follow the strict rules. We know that people live longer and live healthier when they eat vegetarian, but it’s just too darn hard to do it 100% of the time.”

What does the flexitarian diet look like?
With the growing popularity of various vegetarian diets, many gourmet food writers and chefs are starting to show support for the diet change. This encourages and supports the budding interest in vegetarian diets.

The flexitarian diet developed from those who cared about the environmental and physical health benefits of vegetarianism, but found the vegetarian diet to be too rigorous to adhere too. The majority of the meals they consume are plant-based, but every now and again, they give into temptation and eat meat. They don’t adhere to as strict or rigorous a diet as vegetarians, but are still benefiting their health and the environment by limiting their meat intake.

How is the flexitarian diet beneficial to your health?
It’s been proven that a vegetarian diet, or mostly vegetarian diet as the case may be, can help to prolong your life, improve your overall health, and, when done properly, can help to encourage weight loss. By eating a diet predominantly comprised of plants, you’re ensuring you get the most nutrition possible.

To learn more about the many health benefits of adopting a vegetarian or flexitarian diet, visit the Physician Committee’s helpful article of all the many health benefits that come along with adopting these diets.

How is flexitarianism beneficial to the environment?
We all, on the whole have a tendency to overeat meat. Mark Bittman, author of “How to Cook Everything,” pointed out that, on average, we can consume about 200 pounds of various types of meat each year; this is twice the average amount of meat consumed globally each year.

It takes an exorbitant amount of energy for the industry to keep up with the productional demand for meat and its causing a negative impact on the environment. The more people that opt for adopting a vegetarian or flexitarian diet, the lower the demand for meat will be. This could lead to more environmentally friendly production practices in the future. Either way, lessening the demand for meat will help to lessen the amount of energy necessary to keep the industry afloat.

The flexitarian, or part-time vegetarian, diet has numerous physical and environmental health benefits. While some vegetarians deny any connection with the flexitarian diet (due to the fact that they still occasionally partake in eating meat), you can’t deny the potential health and environmental benefits of consuming less meat and lessening the demand for production of meat.

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