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Nowadays you may have noticed that more and more people are identifying as vegan or vegetarian. While only one in eight members of the British public identify as vegetarian, just over one in five identify as flexitarian.

If you’re not already familiar with this term, a flexitarian is someone who enjoys a vegetarian lifestyle, part-time.

The focus on this dietary choice appears to be on regulation, you are not expected to give up meat entirely, just enjoy controlled portions within your meals on a part-time basis.

 

The flexitarian movement could be considered more of a lifestyle choice than a diet and it is founded on certain specific principles:

  • Eat more natural forms of food
  • Limit added sugar and sweets
  • Include more fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole grains in your diet
  • Sourcing your protein from plants as opposed to animals
  • Add meat and animal products from time to time but in controlled portions

While the popularity of a meat-free diet continues to grow steadily, vegetarian meal options are becoming more dominant and diverse.

In fact, as vegan restaurants become more commonplace and vegetarian meals grow in popularity a plant-based diet has never been so accessible before.This upsurge in people choosing to eat green is clearly here to stay and as a result more people might consider the health benefits of cutting back on meat consumption.

Although many people consider a flexitarian diet purely for health reasons, the chief motivations behind this lifestyle change tend to be recognised as:

  • Health concerns – Vegetarian meals and vegan meals are widely considered to be healthier overall.
  • Environmental concerns – Cutting back on meat consumption will reduce global warming as it has a direct effect on global greenhouse emissions.
  • Animal welfare concerns - More people are expressing concern over how their food is sourced and in turn, this ultimately becomes an issue of animal welfare.
  • Weight loss - Flexitarian eating limits caloric intake and can help promote weight loss.

 

Many people consider cutting back on their meat consumption to shed a few pounds and certain weight loss supplements are also vegan and vegetarian friendly. There are several health benefits associated with this diet which include -

  • Consuming more plant-based proteins that maintain healthy skin, bones, muscles and organs. Limit quantity of eggs and dairy products in diet and try to include more seeds, nuts, lentils, legumes and grains for a healthy protein load up.
  • Keeps you feeling fuller for longer due to intake of more fibre in fruits, vegetables, whole grains etc.
  • A vegetarian diet contains more nutrient-dense foods
  • Reduced risk of diabetes
  • Consumption of more plant-based foods is healthy way to lose some weight.
  • People with a semi-vegetarian diet have a lower risk of heart disease or stroke.
  • Increased energy and less fatigue. You can also boost your energy levels and reduce tiredness by taking vegan and vegetarian friendly supplements.

On global terms, the benefits of casual vegetarianism are nothing short of drastic. In fact, if everyone adopted a flexitarian diet then greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture would be reduced by more than half. Reductions in meat consumption is considered essential to avoid dangerous climate change.

This environmentally friendly diet ensures that the overall well-being of the planet and the people on it goes hand in hand.

There are many obvious health benefits associated with this lifestyle choice, and its flexible nature ensures it is extremely accessible. If you are interested in how this diet might benefit you then why not try it out for yourself? Even implementing a flexitarian diet on a trial basis might prove truly life-changing.