You’re familiar with Vegans, Vegetarians, maybe even Fruitarians, but the new word to enter the dietary lexicon is “Flexitarian,” – people who choose to eat less meat. They’re not eliminating hamburgers from their diets, but they are limiting them for health reasons.
Eating a mostly vegetarian diet has been proven to be very healthful; studies show that vegetarians live 3.6 years longer and weigh 15% less than non-vegetarians. However, strict vegetarianism can also lead to health problems when not carefully managed to ensure enough nutrients are consumed. Iron, B12 and protein deficiencies are not uncommon.
Enter the Flexitarian Diet, which includes the occasional free-range organic chicken, wild-caught salmon or grass-fed steak. Health-wise, it presents a happy medium, especially in diets that include seasonal fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Flexitarianism also might be the wave of the future, since more Americans are eating less meat.
The United States Department of Agriculture predicts that U.S. meat consumption will decline for the fifth straight year in 2012. Beef is no longer “what’s for dinner” in many households. Considering that the price of beef has risen in the midst of an economic downturn, it’s no surprise. But cost isn’t the only reason for the changing ratio of meat to vegetable. The Meatless Monday Movement has been gaining ground and raising awareness of the benefits of cutting back on meat – it improves heart health and helps the environment.
Whether you’re ready to call yourself a “Flexitarian” or just want to improve your eating habits for a healthy body and mind, Intelligent Gourmet can help you achieve your goals while still packing in the flavor you love. We take the smart approach to eating healthy.