The Flexitarian Diet: What It Is, and How to Get Started

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What is a flexitarian diet?

Created by dietitian Dawn Jackson Blatner, a flexitarian diet provides the benefits of a vegetarian diet while still allowing you to enjoy animal products in moderation. And as it has no clear-cut rules or recommended calories, it's more of a lifestyle than a diet

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Decreased risk of heart disease

Eating flexitarian may provide several health benefits, and a decreased risk of heart disease is one of them. This is likely because vegetarian diets are often rich in fiber and antioxidants that may reduce blood pressure and increase good cholesterol.

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Lower risk of certain cancers

Diets high in nutritious plant foods such as fruits, vegetables, and legumes, and low in ultra-processed foods, are associated with a lower risk of certain cancers, especially colorectal cancers.

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Helps prevent and manage diabetes

Eating a predominantly plant-based diet may help prevent and manage type 2 diabetes. This is most likely because plant-based diets include many foods that are high in fiber and low in unhealthy fats and added sugar.

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Helps with weight loss

If you're trying to lose weight, then a flexitarian diet can be the way to go, as it consists of foods with lower calories and avoids highly processed foods.

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Reduces your carbon footprint

Going flexitarian has benefits for our planet as well. Reducing meat consumption can help preserve natural resources by decreasing greenhouse gas emissions and land and water use.

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Helps you save money

There are no particularly pricey ingredients required for this diet plan, so groceries shouldn’t cost more than they typically do. And if you're typically big on meat, you'll for sure save some bucks!

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Easy to follow

One of the major advantages of going flexitarian is that it's a straightforward and flexible diet. This increases the chances that it can become a long-term lifestyle.

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Adds to feelings of fullness

The majority of adults and children are not getting enough fiber, but it's an easy boost when you consume mostly fruits and vegetables, along with plant-based proteins like beans, nuts, and seeds. By upping your fiber intake, you'll be feeling fuller for longer.

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Keeps you well nourished

A flexitarian diet contains a greater amount of nutrient-dense food compared to meat-heavy diets. It also prioritizes cutting down on the consumption of processed and packaged foods, which are often full of added salt and sugar.

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Reportion your plate

Downsize your meat and grain portions while pumping up the produce. Aim to allot 25% of your plate for meat, poultry, or fish, 25% for whole grains, and 50% for fruits and veggies

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