Jun 03 2018

Is being a vegetarian or vegan perceived to be too difficult?

Published by at 1:37 pm under General

Is being a vegetarian or vegan too difficult?
Try being a Flexitarian.

With July 4th just around the corner, a lot of hot dogs and hamburgers will be the grill across this proud nation of ours. But considering the impact too much meat has on both our health and the environmental may drive us all to consider throwing some organic corn or veggie burgers on the grill instead.

We’ve talked about the importance of plant based diets before. The friendly gut bacteria feed off of fibrous diets full of healthy vegetables and fruits. There are a lot of other good reasons to go vegetarian or vegan. It is better for our overall health. It is better for the animals and it is better for our planet. But saying, “I’ll never eat meat”, dissuades a lot of people from going vegetarian or vegan and then turns them off of the idea all together. Well fear no more, the phrase “Flexitarian” has been coined to describe a vegetarian who “gets a little on the side” so to speak. And people like this idea. 1*

Flexitarians are vegetarians whose diet is mostly vegetarian, but with some flexibility to eat meat, fish and poultry.  There are also other variations of vegetarianism for comparison. Pesco-vegetarians are vegetarians who eat fish and seafood. Ovo-lacto vegetarians eat eggs and milk products, but not meat, fish or poultry. Vegans eat only plant based foods, excluding anything with an animal origin.  

For example “…A Flexitarian is defined as one whose normally meatless diet occasionally includes meat or fish…”  The term was first coined in 1998 to describe people who mostly but don’t always eat vegetarian foods.  Instead of committing to a plant based diet full time, their focus is to eat mainly whole foods such as vegetables, fruits, legumes, grains and dairy. It may be that they eat meat only once a week, or consume just a little each day. For those who have grown up eating meat at every meal, and meat and potatoes every night, this is the “lite” version of vegetarianism.  It puts people in a different mindset. Instead of being vegetarian and feeling as if you are “cheating” when you eat meat, it puts people in the space where they can eat meat sometimes, but aim for mostly vegetarian meals. The benefit of this term will help people lean more towards vegetarianism and hopefully reduce their meat intake which can have profound effects on both their health and the environment.(1,2)*

Benefits of going Flexitarian?

Health benefits:

Studies have shown that the health benefits associated with being Flexitarian include lower blood pressure, better metabolic health and a lower risk of type 2 diabetes. (1,2,3)*

Better for the planet.

 “… In a paper published in Siencec, researchers have analyzed the environmental impacts caused by our food production and consumption. Overall, they estimated a vegan world would produce 49 per cent less food-based greenhouse gas emissions, 50 per cent less acidification on land, 49 per cent less eutrophication, and would use 19 per cent less water to meet our food-energy demands…” (1,2,4)*

Save money while eating better:

 It will help with your overall grocery bill because meat is expensive, especially if you are buying organic, grass fed beef and fresh fish. Factory farmed meats are fed grain to fatten them up and they are given  antibiotics for  weight gain and to avoid illness, which is causing them to carry resistant strains  of bacteria and viruses. Farmed fish is also fed grain and is full of chemicals and dyes. So if you buy less meat, you can focus on buying the good stuff when you do.  By allowing a small amount of quality animal products into your diet, you are getting protein, and vitamins that only come from meat and dairy. Protein is important for improving muscle mass, bone strength and stabilizing blood sugar levels.  Wild caught fish is one of the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids which help protect your heart and prevent cancer, not to mention keep the brain healthy.

Better fit for families

If meals sometimes have meat, and sometimes don’t no one feels they are being forced into a certain way of eating or being deprived. In the UK, Paul McCartney and his family started a campaign called Meatless Monday, encouraging people to slowly cut meat out of their diets. .

Keep in mind when eating less meat, that you need to supplement your diet with Vitamin B12, because animal foods are the best sources of this vitamin. Body Biotics™ Liquid B 6-9-12 drops are an excellent, tasty supplement to help with maintaining your B-vitamin intake.

Moderation is still the mantra. Stay focused on vegetables, fruits, and a mainly plant based diet, but this flexible way of eating allows you some leeway to add a little meat now and then.

Healthiest wishes,

Kelli

www.bodybiotics.com

 

Resources:

  1. https://theconversation.com/love-meat-too-much-to-be-vegetarian-go-flexitarian-73741
  2. https://draxe.com/flexitarian/
  3. http://www.abc.net.au/news/science/2018-06-01/would-you-go-vegan-to-save-the-planet-study-says-its-best-option/9816168?section=science


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