foods and juice served on brown table

What Is A Flexitarian Diet & Its Health Benefits

What Is A Flexitarian Diet?

Flexitarian, the word, is a combination of two words; flexible and vegetarian. In a nutshell, a flexitarian diet can be defined as a diet which is vegetarian but involves including animal products occasionally. It is different from a vegan diet, and involves ocassional consumtion of meat, hence the name ‘flexible vegetarian’.

bowl of cooked food

The idea behind a flexitarian diet is a more flexible approach to vegetarianism, so that you can reap the benefits of loading up on fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, without ditching animal products like milk or meat entirely. Being flexitarian means your diet involves eating vegetarian food only on most days, but occasionally you also enjoy a cheeseburger or a steak.

Related: The 5 Best Plant Based Protein Sources To Include in a Vegan Diet

Is Flexitarian Diet Good For Me?

While eating meat everyday may affect your overall health, blending it with a vegetarian diet may prove to be far more beneficial. By being a flexitarian, you’re getting benefits from both plants and animal products. According to a US News article, “By eating more plants and less meat, it’s suggested that people who follow the diet will not only lose weight but can improve their overall health, lowering their rate of heart disease, diabetes and cancer, and live longer as a result”.

Health Benefits of Flexitarian Diet

1. Balanced Diet

In a flexitarian diet, people do not ditch meat or milk entirely which helps in providing optimum level of macro nutrients be it carbs, fat, or protein, thereby providing a balanced diet full or nutrients.

2. Helps In Detoxification

By providing a balanced healthy diet, a flexitarian diet helps in body detoxification. Eating more plants, like vegetables and fruits, while also adding chicken will help in body detoxification.

3. Aids Weight Loss

Flexitarian diet has been ranked as the #1 diet for weight loss according to US News. The diet is easy to follow and provides a wide variety of nutrients which aids in weight loss and help improve overall health.

two people eating healthy food in bowls

What To Eat In A Flexitarian Diet

Majority of the meals shall comprise of vegetables, fruits, and plant based protein sources. Include your favorite meats; like pork, steak, seafood, or poultry only ocassionally.

Related: The Top 5 High Protein Vegan Smoothie Recipes

Here is a sample guideline to provide a high level idea of how a flexitarian diet looks like:

  • Beginner: 6–8 meatless meals of 21 total meals each week 
  • Advanced: 9–14 meatless meals of 21 total meals each week
  • Expert: 15+ meatless meals of 21 total meals each week