Most people who go on a diet ultimately end up failing. Why? Because their new eating regime is too restrictive. And a diet that’s too restrictive is rarely sustainable in the long run.
Today’s research is clear: You can eat bountiful amounts of food; you just have to eat the right things. With a belly full of healthy food, you’ll be happier. This is where the flexitarian diet comes in.
Aligned with a modern way of thinking around consumption, this method loosens the reins on the restrictions and gives people a healthy alternative diet.
What Is the Flexitarian Diet?
The flexitarian diet encourages people to be flexible vegetarians, hence the name. The idea is that committing to being vegetarian or vegan is too restrictive for most people. Flexitarians enjoy a mostly plant-based diet with a limited amount of meat and animal products.
How Do You Follow the Flexitarian Diet?
True to its flexible name, there are no set rules regarding the amount of plants or meat you can eat. There are no calories to count or macronutrients to track. Think of this diet as more of a lifestyle – which makes it easier to follow!
Focus on eating mostly fruits, veggies, legumes and whole grains. Aim to get your protein from plants, not animals. Then throw in some meat or animal products here and there. The key is to just limit your consumption of processed foods or those high in sugar.
Flexitarian Diet Benefits
This new lifestyle comes with its share of benefits! By committing to the flexitarian lifestyle, you can experience a lower risk of heart disease, weight loss and diabetes. These are mainly because you’re reducing your sugar intake while increasing your fiber and healthy fat intake.
Foods to Include in a Flexitarian Diet
To start a flexitarian diet, create meals with minimally processed and whole plant foods and proteins. Then throw in a limited amount of fresh animal products.
- Protein plants
- Whole grains
- Eggs and Poultry: free range or pasture raised
- Fish: wild caught
- Dairy: from grass-fed pasture raised animals
- Meat: wild or pasture raised and grass fed
Foods to Exclude in a Flexitarian Diet
The flexitarian diet doesn’t require you to eliminate food, but rather encourages limiting your intake of animal products and meat. As we discussed, highly processed and refined foods or those with added sugar should also be kept to a minimum.
- Processed meat
- Fast food
- Refined carbs
- Added sugar
The Flexitarian Diet is Better for the Environment
Reducing your meat consumption may be good for the environment. Cultivating plants requires fewer resources and emits fewer greenhouse gasses than raising livestock. If more people switched, the demand for plant farms would increase, and it create an overall positive effect on the environment.
Spice Up Your Own Flexitarian Diet
At Nikken Foods, we’re committed to providing high quality ingredients that aid in creating robust recipes. Just because you’re going plant-based doesn’t mean you’re stuck with salads. Many of our products are perfect for spicing up your flexitarian meals. Check out some of our favorites:
- Our 2170 Shiitake Extract Powder and our 2115 Shiitake Extract Powder provide a meat-like profile by delivering an intense, savory layer that is reminiscent of beef drippings.
- Our 6109 Red Miso Powder has a deep, rich taste that can be compared to tasty meat. Red Miso is an excellent product that complements red meats, boosting the overall meat profiles.
- Our 6100 Red Miso Powder is a fermented soybean extract that contributes complexity and meatiness thanks to intense savory notes uncovered during the extended fermentation process.
Reach out to our team, and we’ll help you find the right gourmet blend of spices to bring your plant-based meals to life and help add some flavor to your flexitarian lifestyle.