'Flexitarian' eating: Part vegetarian, part not

April 17, 2018

(HealthDay)—If you want to eat more vegetables and less meat, but don't want to give up meat altogether, there's an alternative.

It's called flexitarian—for flexible vegetarian. You primarily eat a , but you eat on certain days of the week or when the urge strikes.

Your part-time vegetarian status comes with no rules. You decide how much meat—ideally lean red meat and poultry—you want to have. But the main focus is on eating a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts and seeds.

The eating plan's flexibility also extends to how many days you go meatless. You might start with one to two days a week, then progress to three to four, and eventually to five meat-free days a week. On the meat days, try to limit portions to 4 to 8 ounces.

The no-rules aspect also gives you the option of including more than plant-based foods. Dairy, eggs, poultry and fish, in addition to meat, can fit in the flexitarian model now and then—if that's what you want.

However, remember that additions beyond strict vegetarian elements could affect whatever health benefits you might hope to achieve. For instance, researchers found that a strict vegetarian diet helped reduce the risk for type 2 diabetes by 34 percent, according to a 2016 study in PLOS Medicine. By comparison, the risk reduction for a flexitarian was 20 percent.

Whatever you choose, talk with your doctor or a nutritionist to make sure your health needs are being met.

Explore further: Vegetarian and Mediterranean diet may be equally effective in preventing heart disease

More information: The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics has information on how to meet your nutritional needs with a vegetarian diet.

Related Stories

Vegetarian and Mediterranean diet may be equally effective in preventing heart disease

February 26, 2018
A lacto-ovo-vegetarian diet, which includes eggs and dairy but excludes meat and fish, and a Mediterranean diet are likely equally effective in reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke, according to new research in the ...

Menus with vegetarian sections can lead customers to eat more meat

March 13, 2018
Separating vegetarian dishes on a menu can, in fact, reduce the proportion of people who choose a vegetarian option.

Is there a link between your pets and your food choices?

April 13, 2018
People who grow up with a greater variety of pets are significantly more likely to follow a vegetarian diet as adults, according to research by a professor-student team in the University at Albany psychology department.

Here's how to pack protein into your diet

April 5, 2018
(HealthDay)—Whether you want to lose weight, maintain your weight or just eat healthily, you need to know about protein.

Protein and vitamins key to healthy vegan, vegetarian diets

February 5, 2018
f you're becoming vegetarian or vegan, know that you'll have to beef up your diet in other ways, says a University of Alberta dietitian.

Eating a diet rich in fruit and vegetables could cut obesity risk

May 19, 2017
Pro-vegetarian diets (with a higher consumption of plant-based foods compared to animal-based foods) could provide substantial protection against obesity, according to new research presented at this year's European Congress ...

Recommended for you

Love organic foods? Your odds for some cancers may fall

October 22, 2018
Paying extra for those pricey organic fruits and vegetables might pay off: New research suggests eating them might help you dodge a cancer diagnosis.

A topical gel that can prevent nerve damage due to spraying crops with pesticides

October 22, 2018
A team of researchers affiliated with several institutions in India has developed a topical get that can be used by farmers to prevent nerve damage due to chemical crop spraying. In their paper published in the journal Science ...

Modern conflict: Screen time vs. nature

October 22, 2018
Even rural kids today spend more time in front of screens and less time outdoors, according to a new study of middle-school students in South Carolina.

Moderate exercise before conception resulted in lower body weight, increased insulin sensitivity of offspring

October 22, 2018
Men who want to have children in the near future should consider hitting the gym.

Community health workers can reduce hospitalizations by 65 percent and double patient satisfaction with primary care

October 22, 2018
Community health workers—trusted laypeople from local communities who help high-risk patients to address social issues like food and housing insecurity—can help reduce hospital stays by 65 percent and double the rate ...

Juul e-cigarettes pose addiction risk for young users, study finds

October 19, 2018
Teens and young adults who use Juul brand e-cigarettes are failing to recognize the product's addictive potential, despite using it more often than their peers who smoke conventional cigarettes, according to a new study by ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.