Virtually everyone has an idea of who a vegetarian is. A vegetarian diet is quite popular. But not everyone knows who a semi-vegetarian is. Well, a semi-vegetarian is quite similar to a vegetarian. It’s just that there’s a small difference between these two. Let’s put it this way. A vegetarian is very strict with sticking to veggies and nothing more. But a semi-vegetarian adds foods like poultry and other meats to the diet plan. In simple terms, we could say semi-vegetarianism is a bit more diverse in foods than vegetarianism. But the good thing though is that these two different diet plans have amazing benefits, which is why people are sticking with it all the way. But today we’ll only be looking at semi-vegetarianism.
Some people love the vegetarian diet but can’t seem to give up poultry, and meat in their diet. So they try to find a balance between eating a lot of veggies and still enjoying foods like meat. That’s why there’s a semi-vegetarian diet. From the name you can tell it’s not a fully vegetarian diet. This diet is also known as a flexitarian diet. It’s quite obvious why it was given that name. And that’s because it’s a lot more flexible than a vegetarian diet. Well, today we will be having an in-depth look at what semi-vegetarianism is. We will have a look at its amazing benefits and also a few downsides. So keep reading to find out more.
A flexitarian diet is another name for a semi-vegetarian diet. This diet was created by Dawn Jackson Blatner. And his main goal was to provide a diet plan that has the benefits of a vegetarian diet but is a bit more flexible. Flexitarian diet was actually coined from two words: “flexible and vegetarian”.
A flexitarian diet is not so strict. So there are no clear cut rules as to the amount of food to eat. That’s why there are no recommended numbers of calories in this diet plan. The fact that it’s more of a lifestyle than a diet makes it easy for many people to stick to this diet plan.
It’s simply based on a few rules:
- Eat more of fruits and vegetables, whole grains and legumes
- Focus on protein gotten from plants and not animals
- Include meat and other animal products often but in moderation
- Don’t eat processed foods, opt for natural forms of foods
- Limit intake of sweets and added sugar
Since this diet plan is very flexible, concentrate more on foods you want to opt for. And not foods you should restrict. It’s no surprise that so many people opt for this diet plan because of the health benefits it offers.
You could have a specific number of days that you would eat meat. The goal is to eat less meat and more plant-based nutritious foods.
Benefits of Semi-Vegetarianism
Semi-vegetarianism is quite new. So very little studies prove the benefits of this diet plan. But even with that, there are expected benefits a person should get from following this diet plan.
Reduces the risk of Type 2 diabetes
Research has shown that vegetarian diets go a long way in reducing the risk of having type 2 diabetes. That’s because there’s reduced intake of sugars. And more intake of fruits and vegetables. Which build the immune system. And a flexitarian diet is actually under a vegetarian diet. So the benefits this diet plan would offer is quite similar to the one a vegetarian diet would offer.
A flexitarian diet happens to be quite affordable. Foods in this diet are not hard to find. So it makes it very easy for you to find the foods. And at the same time, you wouldn’t have to spend so much money on getting these foods. That’s why many people are able to adhere to this diet plan. Research actually shows that vegetarians save as much as $750 in a year on food. A flexitarian would save a bit lower than that amount in a year.
So many fad diets aim at losing weight. Weight loss happens to be a very hard thing to do. And one of these diet plans that aid in weight loss is a flexitarian diet. A flexitarian diet is rich in fruits and vegetables and very low in calorie intake. This makes it very easy for a person to lose weight while staying healthy.
Reduces the risk of heart disease
Research has been carried out to prove the effectiveness of a vegetarian diet on heart disease. But there isn’t much evidence on the effect of a flexitarian diet on heart disease. It has been proven that vegans have a low blood pressure than meat eaters. Even though the same exact result can’t be seen in a flexitarian diet, the results are similar. Just at a lesser extent.
One great thing about this diet plan is the nutrient it offers. It’s a nutrient dense diet plan. So your body gets the nutrient required. And that way your body’s immune system is a lot stronger. That way your body would be less susceptible to infections and diseases.
Easy to follow
This is one of the easiest diet plans to follow. It’s not strict in terms of the number of calories and even foods. It allows you to choose whatever you want to eat. As long as you stick to the foods that should be taken. And stay away from foods that should be avoided. You’re good to go. That’s why many people out there are raving about this diet plan.
Downsides of Semi-Vegetarianism
It’s true that a good flexitarian diet offers amazing benefits. But a person doesn’t plan out the diet plan well enough, it could lead to nutrient deficiencies. There are some nutrient deficiencies to be aware of in a flexitarian diet: Vitamin B12, Calcium, Iron, Zinc and Omega 3 fatty acids. And the reason for this is because most of these nutrients are gotten from animal products. But if your diet plan is well-structured you can sure expect amazing benefits from semi-vegetarianism.