If you would like to improve your diet without rigid rules and restrictions, then the Flexitarian Diet is for you.
What is the Flexitarian Diet?
Flexitarian is a marriage of the two words “flexible” and “vegetarian”. The Vegetarian Diet eliminates meat and sometimes other animal foods. The Flexitarian Diet is a semi-vegetarian style of eating that encourages more plant-based meals, while including meat and other animal products in moderation. It is designed to be more flexible than traditional vegetarian and vegan diets and is based on the following principles:
- Eat mostly fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole grains
- Focus on plant-based protein over animal
- Incorporate animal-based products from time to time
- Eat the least amount of processed foods as possible
- Limit added sugars
The Flexitarian Diet does not have a strict set of rules or guidelines, and is considered more of a lifestyle than a diet.
Foods to Eat
- Collard Greens
- Almond Milk
- Coconut Milk
- Oat Milk
- Passion Fruit
- Star Fruit
- Lemon/Lime Juice
The Flexitarian Diet encourages a variety of food groups, consumed in moderation.
Who is This Diet a Good Fit For?
The Flexitarian Diet will work well for anyone seeking to improve their health without rigid dieting rules. The flexible nature of this diet allows individuals to include a variety of foods without feeling overly restrictive.
Adding in more plant foods is encouraged, without completely eliminating meat.
Ingredients are easy to find at most local grocery stores for adherence to the Flexitarian Diet.
Foods to Limit
- Maple Syrup
- Agave Nectar
- Deli Meats
- Refined Carbs
- Fried Foods
Consume these foods in moderation on the Flexitarian Diet.
Flexitarian Diet Meal Plans
Our Registered Dietitian has created an 8-page full week of meals for the ideal Flexitarian Diet meal plan, including:
- Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, & Snacks for each day of the 7-Day meal plan
- Full Macronutrients for each day of the week including calories, protein, fats, and carbs
- Flexitarian Diet recipes
- Shopping List
Flexitarian Diet Pros & Cons
- Variety of recipes
- More environmentally sustainable
- Live healthier and longer
- High amount of home-cooking
- Adjustment to more plant-based diet
- Possible nutrient deficiencies
Overall the goal of the Flexitarian Diet is to incorporate more nutritious plant-based foods and reduce consumption of meat and other animal products.
Evidence has shown that long-term consumption of increasing amounts of red and processed meat may increase the risk of mortality, cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and certain forms of cancer such as colon cancer. Adherence to a more plant-based diet could have potential health benefits in relation to weight loss and metabolic health benefits.
Since meat is an important source of protein, fat, and micronutrients, you will want to make sure you are consuming enough nutrients on the diet. Planning your Flexitarian food choices well is important to assure adequate nutrition and reap the most health benefits.
If you’re wondering how to get started on the Flexitarian Diet consider downloading the free 7-day Flexitarian meal plan.
Kristen Kuminski, RD, CDN
Kristen is a consultant Dietitian with experience working with a variety of individuals and populations. Kristen has experience counseling/ coaching clients in eating disorders, pediatrics, weight management, mental health nutrition and other chronic health conditions.