What is the flexitarian diet?

What is the flexitarian diet?

  • 19 January 2020
The Flexitarian diet has been one of the biggest food and health trends in recent years. Flexitarian comes from the words flexible and vegetarian, and it’s more a way of eating rather than a diet. If someone is a flexitarian, plant-based foods make up the majority of what they eat, but meat and seafood are eaten occasionally and in moderation. A lot of people follow this way of eating without even realizing that they’re flexitarian.

Why has it become so popular?

There are a few reasons why this diet has become popular recently and more people are labelling themselves as flexitarians.

There are several scientific studies which shows that a plant based diet is healthier and can lower your risk for heart disease and some cancers. The benefit of being a flexitarian, however, means that there is less risk of becoming deficient in nutrients like iron and vitamin B12 that you get mainly from animal products.
A flexitarian diet may be better for the planet, as meat has a much bigger carbon footprint than plant foods.

But the main reason why flexitarian diets are so popular right now might be the fact that its not restrictive - it’s much easier to follow than a strictly vegan or vegetarian diet, and therefore a way of eating that’s easy to sustain in the long run. Going cold turkey (excuse the pun) by cutting out meat completely can be very difficult, especially here in South Africa where braaivleis and shisa nyama are such a pivotal part of our culture! Becoming flexitarian doesn’t have to feel like a major sacrifice, unlike many other diets.

How often can you eat meat on a flexitarian diet?

This way of eating is inherently flexible - you make your own rules, and nobody can judge you for “cheating” when eating animal products. Some flexitarians may give up meat just one day a week (like Meatless Mondays), some flexitarians only eat meat on the weekends and eat plant-based during the week. Some flexitarians eat meat even less frequently - only on special occasions. It’s up to you.

I’m a flexitarian, does Daily Dish cater to this?

Of course! We have a wide variety of weekly meals and favourites to choose from, both meat-containing and vegetarian. If you wanted to follow a flexitarian diet, we would suggest choosing the Vegetarian meal plan for your subscription. Then, each week you can swap out one or more of the vegetarian dinners with a meat- or seafood-containing dinner from any of our other meal plans or favourites. It’s as simple as that!