We envision a world in which societal consumption of red meat, poultry, seafood, eggs, and dairy is significantly reduced - Reducetarian Foundation
You've probably come across the term "flexitarian" by now. Basically vegetarianism with free passes thrown in, it's the plant-based diet that still allows for maki rolls and the occasional late-night shish kebab. The eating style was pegged as a "key food trend" for 2017, as more of us consider the impact excessive meat consumption can have on the environment, and restaurant veggie options move beyond bland goat cheese tarts and uninspiring risotto.
Despite the annoying moniker, it seems that flexitarians could be onto something in terms of health benefits, too. A Spanish study presented at the recent European Congress on Obesity in Portugal claims that a "pro-vegetarian" diet in which meat and dairy are reduced but not excluded, could significantly lower chances of obesity.
The study saw Spanish researchers track 16,000 university graduates between 1999 and 2009, by which time 584 were obese. At the beginning of the study, the participants completed questionnaires to determine how pro-vegetarian their diet was. Points were awarded for eating vegetables, fruit, nuts, grains, olive oil, legumes, and potatoes; and deducted for dairy, animal fats, eggs, seafood, fish, and meat.
Next, the researchers compared the 20 percent of participants whose food intake was the "most vegetarian" with the 20 percent that consumed the largest amount of animal products. By the end of the study, the results showed that those with pro-veggie diets were 43 percent less likely to become obese.
The study links this reduced risk of obesity with meat consumption. While there was little difference in the amount of fish eaten by the two groups, the participants who ate the most meat consumed nearly 60 grams more per day than those in the pro-vegetarian group. Unsurprisingly, the pro-veggie group also ate more vegetables—731 grams a day compared to the meat-eating group's 348 grams.
Commenting on the findings, one of the study's authors, Professor Maira Bes-Rastrollo, said: "Our recommendation is to eat less meat. Don't increase the consumption of animal foods. Prefer plant-based foods to animal foods."
But as the Guardian reports, the study does have some weaknesses. It is observational and does not explore other reasons that could account for higher obesity rates in the meat-eating group.
Speaking to the newspaper, dietician Gaynor Bussell said: "Other factors could be accounting for the lower obesity in this group; I would also add that although scored negatively, foods such as fish, some meat and dairy are not associated with obesity but it is about the overall balance of the diet."
But with numerous other studies concluding that eating a mainly plant-based diet is best for warding off cancer, climate change, and maybe even infertility, there can't be any harm in taking the veggie option once in awhile.
Source: Phoebe Hurst, Flexitarians Might Actually Be onto Something, Vice, May 19, 2017.
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The actress and cookbook co-author recalls embracing a ’meat sometimes’ diet following years of plant-based eating.
A flexitarian or semi-vegetarian diet (SVD) is one that is primarily vegetarian with the occasional inclusion of meat or fish. Of late, there appears to be an increasing movement toward this practice.
Companies are pledging to sell you more plant-based meat and dairy to fight climate change (and cash in on a growing trend).
While Houlton’s climate models find that a vegan diet reduces your carbon footprint more than any other dietary choice, a Mediterranean diet is really close.
“Our studies are showing that the Mediterranean diet — which is rich in nuts and beans and has a lot of fish, maybe chicken once a week, maybe red meat only once a month — if everyone were to move toward it, it’s the equivalent of taking about a billion or more cars of pollution out of the planet every year,” said Houlton.
More specific labels like “climatarian” and “reducetarian” can help people stick to their food choices by making them feel like part of a community.
If the world moved to this type of diet, the study found that greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture would be reduced by more than half.
And at least the word flexitarian hasn’t been perverted, as has vegetarian.
It's a "flexible" approach to a plant-based way of life that comes with plenty of health benefits.
People become flexitarian for a variety of reasons. Usually it is out of concern for the environmental footprint of the livestock industry, animal welfare or one’s own health. Or perhaps flexitarians want to save a few dollars by opting for a cheaper protein alternative than meat.
A flexitarian is defined as “one whose normally meatless diet occasionally includes meat or fish”. The term, first coined in 1998, describes people who mostly, but don’t always eat vegetarian foods.
Reducing your meat and dairy intake can help mitigate climate change. Melissa Clark has ideas for how to do it deliciously.
Mark Bittman has a new column in The New York Times. It's about food, but also it's about the way we eat in these trying food times. It's called The Flexitarian.
Overwhelmingly, the main driver here is health. 72% of our community cite it as one of their main reasons for cutting back, and it is mentioned in over 90% of our anecdotal responses.
The pushback against the EAT-Lancet Commission study is that much of the science linking red meat to disease is a little squishy. That's because it's hard to tease apart the independent effect that meat may have on our health. People who eat red meat also have many other habits and dietary choices that simultaneously influence their health, too. There are so many confounding factors.
In the last few years, the link between animal agriculture and the climate crisis has become difficult to ignore. A growing body of research also links meat consumption—particularly red and processed meat—with serious health conditions, including cancer. In response to this information, a growing number of consumers are reducing the number of animal products they eat. Many are adopting flexitarian diets.
If you’ve ever considered a vegetarian diet but backed out because you love a good burger, the flexitarian diet may be a good option for you. Combining the words “flexible” and “vegetarian,” this diet suggests that you can reap the benefits of a vegetarian diet while still enjoying meat when the craving strikes.
As popular campaigns like ‘Veganuary’ fuel New Year’s pledges to cut back on meat, nutrition studies show conflicting findings about the health benefits.
New research claims that a “pro-vegetarian” diet in which meat and dairy are reduced but not excluded, could significantly lower chances of obesity.
Improve human health, protect the environment, and spare farm animals from cruelty by reducing societal consumption of animal products.
Eat less meat with The Flexitarian. Let's talk about food, health, ethics and the environment.