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Vegetarian eating is becoming a more popular choice as people are educated on the relationship between disease and diet. The expression that we are what we eat isnt just an expression but a reality. New research theorizes that the generation of 2007 will be the first who routinely die before their parents because of the poor food choices and fast lifestyle.

But being a vegetarian doesnt mean you must be very strict and eat only vegetables, at least by some standards. There is also the choice of flexitarian and pescatarian. The Pescatarian is the self-proclaimed vegetarian who abstains completely from meat but eats fish. While the Flexitarian is the term coined to describe one who eats mostly vegetarian but occasionally eats meat.

The word Flexitarian was originally coined in a magazine review of a new restaurant who described their offerings as flexitarian; a menu that was leaning towards vegetarianism but with a hint of animal protein. Although this term is recognized in the dictionary, it isnt recognized by most vegetarian groups. The idea that a person can be called a vegetarian who eats meat sometimes appears to be paradoxical.

There is a substantial percentage of the current population that would like to lean towards vegetarianism but is willing to eat small amounts of meat, fish or poultry. Using this definition everyone SHOULD be a flexitarian since the recommended serving of meat is 2-5 ounces 2-4 times per week. The recommended daily allowance of protein is 40-60 grams per day depending upon gender and body size. This protein comes from dairy, fish, eggs, meat and nuts.

When Flexitarians make the decision to eat meat it is often for social or nutritional reasons. For example a Flexitarian may eat only a vegetarian diet at home but eat meat at friends and families homes. It is important to note that when you do chose to eat meat you should eat some of the lower fat versions of animal protein. And if you practice a vegetarian diet at home you should never restrict the amount of dietary fat (not necessarily animal fat) in children under 2. The fat is used to develop brain cells and neurological connections. Even adults will suffer neurological deficits if they totally restrict dietary fats.

The number of part-time vegetarians has had a huge impact on the food industry. The increase offering of soy milk and veggie burgers are up in the grocery stores and other stores like Wild Oats or Whole Foods are springing up to meet the needs of the consumer. The impact of this movement has also affected the print media as publishers of previously pure vegetarian fare are starting to include some recipes with meat.

The choice to turn to a healthier vegetarian diet isnt always possible for people to attain. Sometimes the occasional offering of meat is enough to sustain a healthier diet during the remainder of the week. Thus Flexitarians are gaining a foothold in the dietary landscape.

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One Response to “Flexitarian”

  1. Another great resource for flexitarian eating is the book The Flexitarian Diet by Registered Dietitian Dawn Jackson Blatner http://dawnjacksonb….com/books/index.php

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