Source: Rob Palmer

Is Flexitarianism the Diet of the Future?

While vegetarianism and veganism are widely known and adopted diets, there seems to be a new diet emerging into public awareness: flexitarianism.

Also labelled ‘casual vegetarianism’, the flexitarian diet involves eating predominantly plant-based foods with the occasional meat dish from time to time. Typically, flexitarians avoid eating overly processed foods and added sugar and therefore lead a considerably healthy diet.

Offering both health and environmental benefits, this increasingly popular diet is simple to adopt and maintain. So, while strict rules often see many diets like veganism, vegetarianism and the keto diet abandon – flexitarianism is comparatively easier to maintain long term and seamlessly integrate into your lifestyle.

Can flexitarianism improve your health?

According to the Australian Heart Foundation, we shouldn’t eat any more than 350 grams of unprocessed beef, pork, lamb or veal per week. That’s the equivalent of three ‘lean meals’ each week. Reduced meat consumption is known to reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke. There’s also considerable evidence that eating large amounts of red meat and processed meat can increase your risk of type two diabetes.

Despite the health guidelines, Australians consume more than 90 kilos of meat per year, with beef and pork accounting for more than 20 kilos of consumption per person in 2019.

Despite Australia’s love for meat, particularly red meat, it appears the tides are shifting. According to a forecast by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, meat consumption growth is predicted to be minimal in Australia and the U.S. Globally, the OECD predicts white meat, in other words, poultry, will continue to be eaten in favour of red meat.

How flexitarianism can reduce your environmental impact

Although vegetarianism and veganism are undoubtedly healthier diets to reduce environmental impact, flexitarianism offers, as the name suggests, more dietary flexibility while reducing your carbon footprint.

So, if you aren’t willing to give up the occasional steak or lamb chops, leading a diet that is significantly more plant-based will still reduce your impact on the environment through your reduced participation in the highly damaging livestock farming industry.

By eating less meat, flexitarians partially remove themselves from financially contributing to deforestation, water and land degradation and increased CO2 emissions. In this sense, flexitarianism offers a less restricting way out of contributing to an industry that accounts for 18 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions worldwide. And with the increasing severity of the climate crisis, it could be argued that flexitarianism isn’t just the diet of the future, but rather the diet that we should all lead now.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This

Love our content?

Share this post with your friends!