Meat and broccoli

Do you have to go to flexibility? (Photo: Getty)

If you are looking to consume fewer animal products in one Trying to save the planet, especially as part of the New Year’s solution, you have probably encountered the term ‘flexibility’.

Your first thought may be about eating vegetables while touching your toes – but it turns out it has nothing to do with physical flexibility.

So what does this term mean? Can it really help you save the planet? And should you do it?

We make a deep dive into the world of flexibility.

What is a flexor?

Flexitarian basically means eating a diet that is mostly plant-based but that allows meat.

It involves making a conscious decision to drastically reduce meat consumption, but it is much more flexible than veganism or vegetarianism. Hence the name.

Table filled with great variety of food shot from above

Flexible diets include a little of everything – including meat products (Photo: Getty)

Many people use the flex diet as a way to pursue a completely plant-based lifestyle – which includes eliminating meat, milk, eggs, honey and all other animal products.

We can see the attraction of flexion motion initially. Veganism can be tough. It requires sacrifice and careful decision making. Despite the recent outbreak of vegan alternatives available, there will inevitably be moments where you will be faced with limited options.

Being flexible is less rigid and allows you to contribute to helping the planet and eat healthier, while still allowing the weird and drunken Donner kebab.

But there has been a flurry of growing flexibility. Some people have argued that this is not really a thing – or just a cynical marketing ploy to humiliate guilty carnivores.

So what is the answer? Is it legal? And is there any benefit?

Does a flexible diet have health benefits?

The woman refuses the meat

Flexitarians cut meat consumption immediately (Photo: Getty)

So thinks dietitian Charlotte De Curtis, as she points out ‘It is much less strict and often easier to adhere to than a strict vegan diet.

“And there’s usually no strict measure like calorie counting or macro.”

The biggest potential benefit is the fact that a typical western diet is red meat, dairy, artificially sweetened foods and processed with minimal herbs.

A flexible approach is likely to see an increase in micronutrients consumed (vitamins and minerals), which is a major benefit to overall health.

Nutritionist and self-proclaimed flexor, Rhiannon Lambert agrees that there are benefits to reducing meat consumption – but she thinks it’s really just processed meat that you should be careful about.

Lunch from the vegan Buddha Bowl restaurant

Healthy eating, as well as considering the environmental impact, should be your top priority (Photo: Getty)

She says: “In the largest study of diet and disease that has ever been undertaken, he reported in 2013 that processed meat increased the risk of death, while no effect was seen for raw red meat.

Raw and properly cooked red meat is actually very healthy. It is rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and loaded with healthy proteins and fats that have profound effects on our health. ‘

Not all meat is created equal – and when it comes to health, eating good quality meat products can be good for you.

However, this does not address the argument for meat production and the environment.

Rhiannon thinks a flexible approach can be an easy way to get the best out of both worlds.

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“Doing flexibility and eating a more plant-based diet may sound like a big dietary adjustment, but the benefits that can be seen are impressive,” she explains.

“There are countless studies showing that vegetarians and vegans live longer and have a lower risk of some serious diseases than those who eat meat. Although, these groups [tend to be] however more health conscious than carnivores.

“We are all unique and what works for one person may not work for another.

But once you start eliminating whole food groups, you run the risk of getting vitamin and mineral deficiencies.

It’s not that you can not follow restrictive diets like raw or vegan ones, it is very easy to go wrong with them. It’s exactly why I did not join Veganuary, but I like the weird #MeatFreeMonday, and that’s why I consider myself a flexor. ‘

Is a flex diet good for the environment?

In short: yes, flexible diets can be good for the environment.

But only if you do it right and remove most of the animal products from your diet.

Dr Toni Vernelli, Head of Communications at Veganuary, says: ‘Flexitarism undoubtedly has a beneficial environmental impact as long as people are significantly reducing their consumption of meat and milk, for example by becoming vegan at least one day a week in instead of eating only one vegetable. Burger per week.

“But flexibility also helps people discover new foods and build new habits that enable them to continue to reduce the amount of animal products they eat over time.

The woman eats a BBQ kebab with meat

Flexitarism can be healthy – as long as it is done properly (Photo: Getty)

“A lot of people tell us that their trip to the Veganuary started on meatless Mondays, and once they learned they were going vegan 3 days a week and then decided to do the Veganuary.”

Basically, what replaces meat and milk with vegan alternatives is reducing the ‘carbon footprint’ in your diet.

As a The Veganuary meal plan model shows that much less carbon is extracted during the production of vegan sausages than regular ones – the same with chicken, beef, skim milk and other products.

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