Flexitarian Diet Plan
The aim: Good health and loss of weight.
The theory: More than ten years ago, a registered dietitian by the name of Dawn Jackson Blatner, coined the word, Flexitarian, from the two words, flexible and vegetarian, when she wrote her book about the Flexitarian Diet in 2009. According to the this dietitian, it is a diet for weight loss, being healthier, prevention of diseases and a longer life span; by eating mostly vegetables with a little meat from time to time.
Are there cardiovascular benefits?
Certainly! According to studies made, plant based diets assist in keeping blood pressure and cholesterol level down, and heart disease away. That is possible due to the fact that there is no cholesterol, very little fat and lots of fiber in plant protein. The American Heart Association concurred with the findings and agreed that if mostly-vegetarianism is carefully carried out to ensure that all essential nutrients are present in the diet, it can be nutritionally right and healthful.
Can it help in the prevention or control of diabetes?
Since, the diet comprises mostly of vegetables, it can help in the prevention or control of diabetes.
Control : According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), vegetarianism is a correct health choice. However, the ADA did not say anything about a semi-vegetarian diet. Since there are no fixed meals, prepackaged or planned, you can be sure you cannot be going against your medical practitioner’s advice.
Prevention : Since there is greater chance of getting type 2 diabetes if a person is obese, eating less meat in order to lose weight and maintain the healthier new weight will certainly help to prevent the condition. Several studies have shown that vegetarianism does help to prevent diabetes.
How To Follow the Flexitarian Diet – Video Guide
Are there any health risks?
No side-effects or health risks have been noticed. Nevertheless, you ought to consult your medical practitioner before changing your diet if you are suffering from a disease.
Does Flexitarian conform to the government’s dietary guidelines?
- Fat: A sample of each day’s menu provided 27 percent of each day’s calories from fat. This should be acceptable since the recommendation from the government is from 20 to 35 percent.
- Protein: Its 15 percent is acceptable as the range for protein consumption recommended by the government is from 10 to 35 percent.
- Carbohydrates: The Flexitarian Diet’s 57 percent of daily calories from carbohydrates is within the government’s recommended range of between 45 and 65 percent.
- Salt: Most Americans consume more than the daily maximum of 2,300 mg. recommended. However, if you are an African-American, your age is above 50, or you suffer from chronic kidney disease, diabetes or hypertension, the maximum should be 1,500 mg. A sample of each day’s menu delivered 1,349 mg.
Other essential nutrients.
Due to the fact that most Americans do not get sufficient amount of at least one of these nutrients, these nutrients were called “nutrients of concern” by the 2010 Dietary Guidelines.
- Fiber: Twenty-two to thirty-four grams of fiber is the suggested amount which you, as an adult, should consume each day to improve your digestion and have you feel replete. You are encouraged to eat all the main sources of fiber such as whole grains, beans, fruits and vegetables. As such, there should be no problem of reaching the suggested amount. A sample menu for one day delivered 32 grams.
- Potassium: To lessen the chance of getting kidney stones, reduce bone loss and overcome increased blood pressure caused by salt, there should be enough potassium in the diet; the 2010 Dietary Guidelines stated. However, it is difficult to obtain from food, the suggested daily amount of 4,700 mg. Even with bananas which are rich in potassium, you will have to eat 11 each day to get that amount. Most Americans consume too little of it. A sample menu for a day delivered only 1,277 mg
- Calcium: Most of us know the importance of calcium in the building and maintenance of bones. Besides these, calcium is also important in the proper functioning of muscles and the construction of blood vessels. Yet, most Americans are deficient in calcium. A sample menu for a day delivered 1,130 mg. of calcium which is sufficient to meet the need of people, who are above the age of 50 and women, advised by the government to take between 1,000 mg. and 1,300 mg. each day.
- Vitamin B-12: Vitamin B-12 is an essential nutrient for good cell metabolism and adults require at least 2.4 mcg. of it each day. Good sources of this vitamin are yogurt, eggs, and fish such as trout and salmon. A sample menu delivered 3.3 mcg.
- Vitamin D: To reduce the possibility of bone fractures, adults are advised to consume 15 mcg. of vitamin D by the government. If you cannot obtain sufficient sunlight to get this amount, you need to eat food rich in this nutrient or take a supplement. Since a sample menu from this diet delivered 13.4 mcg., which is slightly less than what is recommended; a supplement may be necessary. However, worry not, as eating 3 ounces of the fish, sockeye salmon, can provide you with nearly 20 mcg.
- Supplement recommended? Each day, adults ought to take a supplement containing minerals and multivitamins, Jackson Blatner encouraged. Multivitamins should be chosen according to the needs of person. A woman will need more iron than a man.
What is the cost?
Since no special food is required in this diet, the cost should be the almost the same as the usual meals eaten. Not having meat often helps to reduce cost a little. The cost may be more or less the same since you can make your own choices of the food available. You do not have to pay a membership fee but to get the complete information; you have to pay $16.95 for the book, The Flexitarian Diet.
Does Flexitarian allow preferences and restrictions?
As the name of the diet indicates, it is flexible, and therefore, makes no restrictions, and preferences are allowed. So, you just choose food according to your needs.
Vegan and vegetarian
It is easy to be fully vegetarian in this diet. Should you choose to avoid every animal product, you become a vegan.
This diet is not a problem for people who are allergic to gluten which is a protein from rye, barley and wheat.
The diet can be low in salt by making sure that the food you buy contains very little sodium by checking on nutritional facts on labels and information on recipes. Since 1/16th of one teaspoon or a pinch contains 150 mg. of sodium, it is no wonder that Jackson Blatner advises us to use as little salt as possible.
It can be kosher but it is up to you to make sure that it is.
It can be halal but it is up to you to ensure it is halal.
Do’s & Don’ts
Eat more plant food
Learn to enjoy eggs, nuts and seeds, peas, lentils, beans and tofu for the deliver most of the protein you need each day.
Limit alcohol drinks
Women should not take more than a drink a day while men should not exceed two drinks. Ideally, your limit should be not more than 100 calories which is equivalent to a 5-ounce glass of wine.
For five days each week, you ought to exercise for at least half an hour a day; with two days set aside for strength training.