Is a flexitarian diet right for you?

December 21, 2018 by  
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Going vegan or vegetarian might be a good choice for your health  — as well as the environment — but not everyone wants to take the extreme measure of cutting meat and other animal products completely out of their diet. So, over the past five years, many who want to live a healthy life and/or do their part in the fight against climate change have opted for the flexitarian diet. What is flexitarianism? Flexitarianism doesn’t go as far as veganism or vegetarianism, but it does include some of the same principals. Basically, a flexitarian is someone who has a flexible plant -based diet, which means that meat and other animal products are not a part of their regular diet, but they do eat them occasionally. Usually, people who identify as flexitarians adopt the lifestyle for health reasons or to lessen their environmental impact —or both. Dietitian Dawn Jackson Blatner created the Flexitarian Diet to help people get the benefits of eating like vegetarians while still being able to enjoy meat and other animal products in moderation. There are no specific rules in the flexitarian lifestyle—no calorie counting or tracking of macronutrients— and the focus is on what you can eat instead of what you can’t, which makes it all the more appealing to many people. However, there are a few basic principles that Blatner based the diet on: eat mostly plant-based foods (fruits, veggies, legumes and whole grains), get your protein from plants instead of animals, eat natural foods instead of processed foods, limit refined sugar and sweets, and occasionally incorporate meat and animal products. Overall, the goal is less meat, more plants. Related: Look out meat industry— flexitarianism is on the rise What are the health benefits? There are many health benefits when you eat flexitarian. Because most plant-based foods have fewer calories and higher fiber content, this diet can help you lose weight. Eating mostly fruits, veggies, nuts and whole grains can also lead to an increased life expectancy compared to people who regularly eat meat. Studies have shown that a vegetarian diet can lower the risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease, and the reap the same benefits. On the flip side, there have also been studies that indicate eating red meat can lead to an increase of cancer . A flexible eating pattern also tends to lead to a lower body mass index (BMI), a lower risk of breast cancer, and lower blood glucose levels compared to people who eat meat regularly. What are the risks and drawbacks? Because vitamin B12 is only found in animal products, you can run the risk of a deficiency when you switch to flexitarianism. So, you might need a B12 supplement. When you reduce or cut out meat from your diet, you might also have lower stores of minerals that are best absorbed from animal foods, like zinc and iron. However, you can remedy this by eating plenty of nuts, seeds, whole grains and legumes. If you aren’t eating fatty fish, you might not be getting enough omega-3 fatty acids in your diet, which means you need to up your intake of things like walnuts and flaxseeds. There is also a myth about vegetarianism or flexitarianism that you won’t get enough protein without eating meat. This simply isn’t true. In fact, most people who eat a standard diet eat way more protein than they need to. Plus, you can get the protein you need by eating soy products, rice and beans, and even a peanut butter sandwich. In order to avoid nutritional deficiencies, it is a good idea to carefully plan your meals to make sure you include enough whole foods— and the right amount of meat and animal products— so you are getting the proper amount of vitamins and minerals. Related: A third of people in the UK are now eating less or no meat How to get started Starting the flexitarian lifestyle isn’t as simple as eating less meat and magically becoming healthier. Theoretically, you could eat a pop tart for breakfast, chili cheese fries for lunch, and a veggie burger with chips and a soda for dinner, and that would follow the vegetarian or flexitarian “rules”. But, there would be zero health benefits. It’s not just about eating less meat, but also making smart food choices overall. So, in addition to reducing meat consumption, you are also adding nutrient-rich foods to your daily diet, while keeping the processed foods to a minimum. Instead of trying to drastically change overnight, it is better to take steps towards the flexitarian lifestyle. Start by shopping the perimeter of the grocery store ( avoid the aisles ) during your next shopping trip, and load up on fresh produce and nuts. Then, try cut your meat-eating down to two to three days a week. No matter how small the change, it will be a step in the right direction. And, the best part is, you don’t have to say no to your mom’s famous meatloaf at your next family dinner. Via EcoWatch , Healthline Images via Shutterstock

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Is a flexitarian diet right for you?

Look out, meat industry – flexitarianism is on the rise

August 29, 2018 by  
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With all of the meatless options on the market, it’s not surprising that flexitarianism is on the rise. Unlike vegetarians , who completely exclude meat from their diet, flexitarians simply cut down on how much meat they eat on a weekly basis. This raises an important question: What are the benefits of eating less meat? Related: Vegetarian diets could help avert one-third of early deaths, new research finds Research has found a correlation between eating less meat and losing weight. Flexitarian diets can also help prevent certain health issues like high blood pressure and diabetes. Given these health benefits , adopting a flexitarian diet can be beneficial, especially if you’re concerned with gaining weight or have a history of diabetes and high blood pressure in your family. Flexitarianism is also easier to get into than vegetarianism. Cutting meat out of a few meals a week is much more doable than eliminating meat altogether. Although some vegetarians have a negative attitude towards flexitarianism – which they view as cheating – it is on the rise around the world. In fact, the amount of vegetarian products available in supermarkets has doubled since 2009, and that trend is not slowing down. Last year, the vegetarian industry sold over $3 billion worth of products, an eight percent increase from the previous year. Not everyone in the United States is convinced, however. While flexitarianism has many health benefits, the majority of people around the country believe meals should include meat in some capacity. People under 50 years of age are also more likely to follow a flexitarian or vegetarian diet, as are individuals who make $30,000 a year or less. People older than 50 and those who earn over $70,000 are not likely to follow a meat-less diet. Lastly, conservatives are less likely to adopt a meat-free diet or cut down on meat consumption than are liberals. Despite these challenges, flexitarianism is on the rise and we can only hope that that trend continues into the future. Via The Washington Post

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Look out, meat industry – flexitarianism is on the rise

INFOGRAPHIC: The True Environmental Cost of Eating Meat

November 12, 2014 by  
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Do you know the real cost of a steak ? We’re not talking about the dollars that people shell out to buy one, but rather the environmental cost of creating it? From the water and grain needed to feed livestock to the  emissions created by huge herds of cattle, farming animals has a massive negative impact on the environment as a whole. Desertification, soil erosion, contaminated groundwater, and greenhouse gas emissions are just a few of the effects caused by raising animals for food . Check out the infographic below to learn more about just how much meat really costs in the long run, and why the planet would benefit a great deal if we all  chose parsnips over pot roast . Read the rest of INFOGRAPHIC: The True Environmental Cost of Eating Meat Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: animals for food , beans , cattle , chicken , chickens , clean water , Climate Change , contaminated groundwater , contaminated water , desertification , eating animals , eating meat , erosion , food animals , gas emissions , greenhouse gas , greenhouse gases , infographic , land use , livestock , Meat , meats , pigs , pork , poultry , raising cattle , roast , soil erosion , steak , vegan , vegetables , vegetarian , vegetarian diet , water depletion , water issues , water use

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DIY: ‘Un-Jello’ Juice Jigglers Are a Kid-Friendly Summer Dessert

May 31, 2014 by  
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If you love juicing and are looking for easy dessert recipes that won’t heat up your kitchen this summer, have we got a treat for you! Typically gelatin desserts contain animal by-products, so if you’re keeping a vegan or vegetarian diet, Jello products aren’t going to cut it. But that doesn’t mean your kids can’t enjoy some chilled, jiggly fruit-flavored desserts this summer. Follow this step-by-step guide over at Inhabitots to learn how a special kind of seaweed can give you the same texture, and when combined with delicious fruit and veggie juices, it’s healthy too! READ MORE> Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: fruit jigglers , fruit juice , vegan desserts , vegan food , vegan jello treats , vegan jigglers , vegan recipes , vegetable juice

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DIY: ‘Un-Jello’ Juice Jigglers Are a Kid-Friendly Summer Dessert

New Campaign Claims Eating Meat Drives Bears and Wolves To Extinction

March 24, 2014 by  
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Man eating a hamburger via Shutterstock A new campaign launched by the  Center for Biological Diversity hopes to make people aware of the connection between eating meat and the endangered status of animals like wolves and bears. The initiative, called “ Take Extinction Off Your Plate ,” claims that meat production is one of the main causes of environmental degradation globally, and that by eating meat, we are helping to drive important predators and wild grazing animals to their permanent death. Read the rest of New Campaign Claims Eating Meat Drives Bears and Wolves To Extinction Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: carnivores and wildlife , center for biological diversity , grizzly bear conservation , livestock industry kills wildlife , meat eaters harm wildlife , vegetarian diet , wolf conservation        

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New Campaign Claims Eating Meat Drives Bears and Wolves To Extinction

Study Shows that Water and Food Shortages Could Force World Into Vegetarianism

August 27, 2012 by  
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On average, humans get about 20% of their protein from animal-based sources. But scientists warn that this may come to an end in the future. Water shortages and the world’s increasing population mean that meat consumption will need to drop to 5% of protein intake in order to be sustainable at current water levels. These warnings come as Oxfam and the UN brace themselves for the second food crisis in just five years. Read the rest of Study Shows that Water and Food Shortages Could Force World Into Vegetarianism Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: drought conditions , food production , meat shortage , Oxfam , protein production , SIWI , Stockholm International Water Institute , sustainable eating , sustainable food , United Nations , vegetarian diet , water shortage

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Study Shows that Water and Food Shortages Could Force World Into Vegetarianism

Weekday Vegetarian: Mini Quiche with Onions, Mushrooms and Feta Cheese

March 12, 2011 by  
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Photo: Kelly Rossiter My mother-in-law is 92 and still lives alone and still cooks dinner for her family on Friday nights. Like my own mother (a relative child at the age of 81), she doesn’t really get the whole vegetarian diet idea. My son has been a vegetarian for about six years, and after many dinners of a single grilled portobello mushroom on his plate, I took pity on him and started taking a dinner along for him.

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Weekday Vegetarian: Mini Quiche with Onions, Mushrooms and Feta Cheese

Eco-Fashion Designer Samantha Pleet Harnesses Starry Night Imagery for Fall 2011 (Photos)

March 12, 2011 by  
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Celestial blouse and cape shorts, Samantha Pleet Fall/Winter 2011. Photo: Andrew De Francesco Mythology, astronomy, and Samantha Pleet ‘s recent trip along Iceland’s Ring Road all inspired the designer’s eponymous Fall/Winter 2011 collection.

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Eco-Fashion Designer Samantha Pleet Harnesses Starry Night Imagery for Fall 2011 (Photos)

Flu Vaccine Derived From Army Worm Cells Instead Of Whole Chicken Eggs

December 5, 2009 by  
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Army worm invasion. Image credit: ABC News: Scott Ross Most people probably don’t realize how flu vaccines are made – by injecting live flu virus into living chicken eggs, incubating the virus-infected eggs, etc.

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Flu Vaccine Derived From Army Worm Cells Instead Of Whole Chicken Eggs

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