Conscious eating for body and environment
If you believe that we should consume less meat and increase the amount of plant-based foods we eat, you may be asking about being flexitarian – what does it mean? This is a diet that encourages ethical eating, however, it does not require you to adhere to a strict vegetarian or vegan diet. For this reason, a flexitarian diet is a great way for everyone to make a difference to their health and the environment. It is the small changes that make the biggest impact.
What is a flexitarian diet?
Thinking about being flexitarian and what it means will inevitably lead you to wonder about the origin of this type of diet. The flexitarian diet was created by Dawn Jackson Blatner, a dietician who believed that all people should be given the chance to enjoy the benefits of a vegetarian diet without having to exclude meat products from their diets entirely. Unlike a vegan diet, flexitarians and vegetarians are allowed to eat dairy products. Adopting a flexitarian diet is not about limitation but instead embracing a wide range of food provisions. Flexitarians enjoy a variety of foods like fruits, vegetables, grains, dairy and eggs throughout the week without having any meat. Once the weekend rolls around, many flexitarians will allow themselves to enjoy all of the meaty treats. However, it is important to note that this is only one example of a flexitarian diet. Most people will see more diversity in their diets without restricting the consumption of meat to a day or two a week.
How it improves the environment
You may not expect to be making a big difference when you order your favourite Italian ragu with lentils instead of meat, but this simple act has ripple effects that reach out to improve our environment. Cutting down on the consumption of meat products helps to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases, due to the fact that you are no longer purchasing the products that are a contributing factor towards these harmful emissions. In addition to this, you are also helping to reduce the strain that is being put on land and water resources. Another long term benefit associated with a flexitarian diet is the difference you will be making on the general agriculture landscape. When you stop buying meat on a regular basis, the demand for viable farming land will change. Instead of having the majority of our land used for livestock feed, more space is freed up to allow more fruits and vegetables to be grown.
Potential health benefits
The final thing to consider when trying to understand what being flexitarian means is the manner in which this kind of diet improves your own health. One of the most significant benefits that many people experience when adopting a flexitarian diet is weight loss. When you reduce the amount of unsaturated fat, your body will naturally begin burning any stored fat until you reach a natural equilibrium. In addition to losing fat, you will also notice several other improvements, like a dramatic dip in your cholesterol levels as well as your blood pressure. This is great news in the long run as it leads to increased heart health. Due to the fact that you are consuming fewer carcinogens, you can also be reducing your odds of developing cancer later on in your life. You are also be eating more fruits and vegetables that contain helpful antioxidants. However, it is important to note that none of these benefits will have any impact on your health if you are still eating refined sugars and carbohydrates.