Flexitarian Diet And What It’s All About

January 18, 2024

A ‘flexitarian’ diet is essentially the amalgamation of two words, “flexible” and “vegetarian,” which refers to a style of eating that endorses mostly plant-based foods while enjoying some meat and other animal-based foods in moderation. This eating style refers to one that is primarily, but not strictly vegetarian. The diet recognises that meat and fish are important sources of nutrients including protein, fat and certain micronutrients. Let us explore some of the benefits of the flexitarian diet that is good for your health.

Flexitarian diet

Food Guide To A Flexitarian Diet

Here is a thoughtfully curated list of food that you should eat and avoid when on a flexitarian diet. Keep reading to get the most out of it for yourself.

Flexitarian meal

Food to eat:

1. Proteins: soybeans, tofu, tempeh, legumes, lentils

2. Non-starchy vegetables: greens, bell peppers, Brussels sprouts, green beans, carrots, cauliflower

3. Starchy vegetables: winter squash, peas, corn, sweet potato

4. Fruits: apples, oranges, berries, grapes, cherries

5. Whole grains: quinoa, teff, buckwheat, farro

6. Nuts, seeds, and other healthy fats: almonds, flaxseed, chia seeds, walnuts, cashews, pistachios, peanut butter, avocados, olives, coconut

7. Plant-based milk alternatives: unsweetened almond, coconut, hemp, and soy milk

8. Herbs, spices and seasonings: basil, oregano, mint, thyme, cumin, turmeric, ginger

9. Condiments: reduced-sodium soy sauce, apple cider vinegar, salsa, mustard, nutritional yeast, ketchup without added sugar

10. Beverages: still and sparkling water, tea, coffee

Junk food

Food to avoid:

11. Processed meats: bacon, sausage, bologna

12. Refined carbs: white bread, white rice, bagels, croissants

13. Added sugar and sweets: soda, doughnuts, cakes, cookies, candy

14. Fast food: fries, burgers, chicken nuggets, milkshakes

Health Benefits Of A Flexitarian Diet

Health benefits of Flexitarian diet

1. Boosts Heart Health

Diets rich in fibre and healthy fats are good for heart health. The flexitarian diet is a good source of natural fibre, antioxidants and healthy fats that are incredibly beneficial for optimising cardiac health and functions. Also, this diet pattern reduces blood pressure and increases good cholesterol.

2. Weight management

Flexitarian eating helps you manage your weight. This is partially because people who adopt a flexitarian diet often limit high-calorie intake by avoiding highly processed foods and eating more plant foods that are naturally lower in calories.

3. Lower risk of Insulin resistance and Type 2 Diabetes

Evidence has shown that the flexitarian diet may support the control of type 2 diabetes. The diet stresses eating plant-based foods such as legumes, fruits, whole grains, seeds, vegetables, and nuts and limits most animal products. Laden with dietary fibre and phytonutrients following this diet pattern remarkably reduces blood sugar spikes and lowers the risk of type 2 diabetes.

4. Prevents Cancer

Dietary patterns heaped with nutritious and wholesome foods like fruits, vegetables, and legumes and low in highly processed foods, meat and red meat are linked with a lower risk of certain types of cancer. Furthermore, research suggests that vegetarian diets are associated with a lower overall incidence of all cancers.

5. Reduces carbon footprints

An under-recognised benefit of going flexitarian is its benefit to our planet. Eating less meat and replacing it with more whole-plant foods, such as beans, peas, lentils, whole grains, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds can reduce your carbon footprint.


Flexitarian diet

The flexitarian diet focuses on healthy plant proteins and other whole, minimally processed plant-based foods but encourages eating meat and animal products in moderation. Eating flexitarian may result in preventing various health risks and diseases such as weight loss, risk of heart disease, cancer, and type 2 diabetes. It may even be good for the planet. However, planning your flexitarian food choices well is important to prevent nutritional deficiencies and reap the most health benefits.

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