The Flexitarian Diet Revolution

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  • Adopting a flexitarian diet which is essentially plant based but also involves some meat, dairy and seafood is worth following.

A flexitarian diet might not be the most popular diet compared to the way the Intermittent diets and the keto diet have taken hold but it is certainly grabbing the headlines. What many people trying the flexitarian diet like is that there is no need to cut out whole groups of foods and that is a big plus.

The Flexitarian diet is currently the third best overall diet in the USA. Many others are trying the DASH diet and the Mediterranean diet.

The Flexitarian Diet is mainly a vegetarian meal diet which relies on a meal plan using all the main food groups but with a different balance. The very name implies the flexibility of the diet and the way more vegetarianism is incorporated into all the various food offerings. The key difference is that whilst meat, dairy and seafood are enjoyed, the level of consumption is reduced. How much is a matter of choice but there is still a significant level of reduction.

We first hear of the diet in 2009.  The registered dietitian Dawn Jackson Blatner wrote a book ‘The Flexitarian Diet: The Mostly Vegetarian Way to Lose Weight, Be Healthier, Prevent Disease, and Add Years to Your Life’. She espoused a 5-week meal plan that championed food groups rather than restrict them. The plan covered all the main meal times of the day such as breakfast, lunch and dinner, and interestingly, snacks.

In recent years it is suggested the diet should be adopted slowly so that a few familiar foods become replaced with healthier options. These should be rich in protein to allow the body to adjust in a measured way. That level of flexibility is also possible with changes in calorie and nutrient content. The calorie contents given in the original book suggested:-

breakfast = 300 calories,

lunch = 400 calories,

dinner = 500 calories,

snacks =  150 calories.

Many restaurants are also adapting their offering to meet the demand for a more flexible diet. There are more vegetarian and vegan options on the menu which means that the business case is very much in flavour of less meat. However, meat is still here to stay, there just isn’t as much of it on the dinner table.

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