Flexitarians are part-time vegetarians. They consume mostly plant-based foods. But high-quality animal products also end up on the table. The flexitarian diet focuses on the quality of the food, the conservation of resources and a mindful lifestyle. How often you consume meat is – as the word suggests – flexible and your decision.
What is flexitarianism?
Every tenth German now eats vegetarian and every hundredth vegan. Healthy eating and mindfulness are trending. But many do not want to eliminate certain foods from the menu – meat and fish in particular should not disappear completely. The key: flexitarianism.
The origin of the word flexitarianism comes from English. “Flexitarian” is a mixture of “flexible” and “vegetarian”, so translated it means “flexible vegetarian” or “flexitarian”.
Flexitarians, or part-time vegetarians, eat mostly vegetarian food. But they also consume high-quality, organically produced meat products. The aim of flexitarianism is to consciously reduce meat consumption, but not to ban it entirely. For flexitarians, food quality and animal welfare are paramount. This should support your own health and the environment – but not neglect flexibility.
Vegans, vegetarians and flexitarians differ in that there are forbidden foods in veganism and vegetarianism, while in flexitarianism there are only recommendations.
How often do flexitarians eat meat?
Plant-based foods such as fruit, vegetables, legumes, (whole grain) cereals, seeds and nuts are the focus of flexitarian eating culture. Meat and fish are eaten consciously, but not consumed regularly. Animal products such as eggs, milk, cheese and honey can also be part of the flexitarian diet. There are no precise instructions: meat one day or four days a week, everything is allowed. The conscious handling of animal products is important in flexitarianism. Flexitarianism comes in different forms. Since it is only gradually becoming known in this country, many in Germany are already flexitarian without knowing it.
Flexitarian Diet: Health Assessment
Many people choose to adopt a flexitarian diet for health reasons or for moral reasons . But how good is she actually? Living as a flexitarian has advantages, but also disadvantages.
The benefits of flexitarianism
Eating less meat has been proven to have a positive impact on our bodies. Avoiding red meat in particular has many advantages. It minimizes the risk of serious diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, colon cancer, high blood pressure or diabetes. Flexitarians eat fewer animal products and balance them with fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
Flexitarianism focuses on a mindful lifestyle, environmental protection and the conservation of resources. Vegetable and animal products are consciously bought and consumed. Flexitarians fundamentally reject factory farming. Flexitarians often do not eat meat that is not raised humanely . Thus, flexitarians consume more high-quality products and support organic farms.
Flexitarians rely on as untreated, natural food as possible – finished products and fast food are taboo. A lot is freshly cooked. This can have a positive impact on health. If processed food ends up on the table, it is important in flexitarianism to pay close attention to the ingredients used. The same applies here: as natural as possible. Because flexitarians eat consciously, their lifestyle can help them stay healthy over the long term.
The disadvantages of flexitarianism
Flexitarians mostly eat vegetarian – but plant-based does not necessarily mean healthy. Balanced food choices are especially important in flexitarianism. Varied foods should be on your menu to avoid an unbalanced diet.
Depending on the amount, low meat consumption can also lead to nutrient deficiencies. It is therefore important for flexitarians to ensure the supply of vital nutrients. You should pay particular attention to the sufficient supply of vitamin B12, iodine and proteins with the flexitarian diet.
Basically, the flexitarian lifestyle can be considered healthy. However, reliable studies are difficult to conduct due to the flexibility of the diet. But one thing is certain: if you don’t want to give up meat completely and still want to do something good for the environment, flexitarianism can be a long-term healthy form of nutrition for you. Without any prohibitions, but with the commandment of mindfulness.
A balanced diet is very important for flexitarians to provide the body with all critical nutrients. You should pay particular attention to an adequate supply of proteins, iodine and B12. The German Society for Nutrition (DGE) assumes that flexitarians often approach the recommended amount of meat of 300 to 600 grams per week. According to the DGE, there is no risk of a lack of minerals and vitamins with this amount. Nevertheless, we recommend that you check your individual nutrient requirements before changing your diet to flexitarianism and monitor them constantly.