What is the flexitarian diet?
A flexitarian diet is a semi-vegetarian style of eating where consuming more plant-based foods and less meat is encouraged. The diet has been inspired by the evidence that plant-based diets are not only better for our health and but also for the planet. The term flexitarian was created from a combination of the words ‘flexible’ and ‘vegetarian’ and as the term ‘flexi’ denotes, there are no rigid rules or absolutes to this diet, making it accessible for those who are looking to slowly adjust to a more plant-based way of eating.
I like to think about this as a wholesome plant-heavy diet (full of fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, nuts and seeds), eating meat and animal products occasionally and choosing plant-based proteins as alternatives the rest of the time (e.g. legumes, tempeh, tofu). I would also advise that people eat less processed, refined foods which are high is sugars, saturated fat and salt.
Many more people are turning ‘flexitarian’ in the UK each year and in a 2021 survey it was estimated that 13 per cent of us now identify as flexitarian. 44 per cent of those who identified themselves as flexitarians also believe that a meatless diet is a healthier option .