May 28th, 2019 | Updated on March 4th, 2020
Dietitian Dawn Jackson Blatner created the Flexitarian Diet. Go vegan without eliminating meat completely from your meal is the purpose of this diet. Flexitarian is a combination of two words: Flexible and vegetarian.
Here Are 10 Facts You May Be Interested To Know About The Flexitarian Diet:
1. It Is Mostly Vegetarian But Allows Occasional Meat
Flexitarianism or ‘casual vegetarianism’ is a plant-based diet which is mostly vegetarian yet still allows for the occasional meat dish.
2. Plant-Based Foods Are Rich Sources Of Protein
Plant-based foods of flexitarian diet include lentils, beans, peas, nuts and seeds, all excellent sources of protein.
3. Nuts And Seeds Can Protect Your Heart
Nuts and seeds such as linseed (flaxseed), pine nuts, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds and walnuts are high in the heart-healthy polyunsaturated fats which help to maintain healthy cholesterol levels and provide essential fatty acids.
4. Why Does Flexitarian Avoid Processed Meat?
If you want to eat meat occasionally, then eat good quality lean meat, such as chicken or turkey. You must avoid processed meat such as bacon, sausages, salami, ham because eating 50 grams of processed meat every day may increase the risk of colorectal cancer.
5. Don’t Forget To Include Alternative Sources Of Iron If You Have Changed To A Flexitarian Diet
Have you changed to a flexitarian diet? It is a good idea to include alternative sources of iron that may be lacking due to a low intake of red meat. Good sources include low sugar, iron-fortified breakfast cereals and dark green, leafy vegetables such as spinach, cabbage, kale and broccoli.
6. What Are The Five Principles Of The Flexitarian Diet?
- Eat mostly fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole grains.
- Focus on protein from plants instead of animals.
- Be flexible and incorporate meat and animal products from time to time.
- Eat the least processed, most natural form of foods.
- Limit added sugar and sweets.
7. What Are The Possible Nutrient Deficiencies To Be Aware Of On The Flexitarian Diet?
- Possible nutrient deficiencies to be aware of on the Flexitarian Diet include:
- Vitamin B12
- Omega-3 fatty acids
8. What Are The Foods To Eat On The Flexitarian Diet?
Foods to eat regularly include:
- Proteins: Soybeans, tofu, tempeh, legumes, lentils.
- Non-starchy vegetables: Greens, bell peppers, Brussels sprouts, green beans, carrots, cauliflower.
- Starchy vegetables: Winter squash, peas, corn, sweet potato.
- Fruits: Apples, oranges, berries, grapes, cherries.
- Whole grains: Quinoa, teff, buckwheat, farro.
- Nuts, seeds and other healthy fats: Almonds, flaxseeds, chia seeds, walnuts, cashews, pistachios, peanut butter, avocados, olives, coconut.
- Plant-based milk alternatives: Unsweetened almond, coconut, hemp and soy milk.
- Herbs, spices and seasonings: Basil, oregano, mint, thyme, cumin, turmeric, ginger.
- Condiments: Reduced-sodium soy sauce, apple cider vinegar, salsa, mustard, nutritional yeast, ketchup without added sugar.
- Beverages: Still and sparkling water, tea, coffee.
9. What Are The Animal Products You Can Eat Occasionally?
When incorporating animal products, choose the following when possible:
- Eggs: Free-range or pasture-raised
- Poultry: Organic, free-range or pasture-raised
- Fish: Wild-caught
- Meat: Grass-fed or pasture-raised
- Dairy: Organic from grass-fed or pastured animals
10. What Are The Foods To Minimize On The Flexitarian Diet?
Foods to minimize include:
- Processed Meats: Bacon, sausage, bologna
- Refined Carbs: White bread, white rice, bagels, croissants.
- Added Sugar And Sweets: Soda, donuts, cakes, cookies, candy.
- Fast Food: Fries, burgers, chicken nuggets, milkshakes.
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