HEALTH BENEFITS OF EATING FLEXITARIAN
The beauty of the Flexitarian diet? You get all the associated health benefits of a full vegetarian lifestyle, plus a few extras.
WEIGHT LOSS – Studies have shown repeatedly that persons following a primarily vegetarian, or Flexitarian weigh less and are more likely to lose weight that persons who consume diets rich in processed carbs and animal protein.
While effective and long-term weight loss is as a result of a sensible diet and exercise plan, chances are that vegetarian based diets promote weight loss since the foods included are naturally low in calories, while being big on bulk.
REDUCED RISK OF HEART DISEASE
Since the Flexitarian diet involves typically a lower intake of fats, the risk of heart disease decreases correspondingly.
However, since sugar consumption, and the role that insulin plays in heart disease is important too, it should come as no surprise that you are still at an extremely high risk if you induce a state of frequent high blood sugar in your body. The fiber and many anti-oxidants found in plant based foods help to absorb fat in the blood stream, and diminish the effects of fat oxidation on blood vessel walls.
DECREASES RISKS OF CANCER
This is a major reason why many convert to veganism, or the less restrictive Flexitarian lifestyle. Cancer is believed to be caused, at least in part, by a poor diet, high in fat, low in fiber, and generally poor in healing the body. In addition, meat products are considered acid forming in the body, another theory of cancer development. Fruits and vegetables help reduce cancer likelihood via making a few assumptions.
1. The Fiber Contained Helps Keep The Intestines Clean – frequently, in cases of colon cancer, the disease manifested from benign “polyps”, small protrusions in the otherwise smooth lining of the colon can come about as a result of frequent constipation, residual fecal matter being left in the colon, or insufficient anti-oxidant action on cells.
2. Plant Based Foods Are Primarily “Alkaline” or Base-Forming When Ingested – these help to directly neutralize the change to the body’s pH brought about by other acid forming foods. Since the body’s pH is more closely alkaline than acidic, it is believed that it brings the body closer back to a state of balance.
3. Anti-Oxidants Kill Cancer Before It Starts – this is partially true, since damaging ROS (reactive oxygen species) can harm cells in the body, causing them to undergo un-natural changes. Anti-oxidants can neutralize these “oxidants” saving the cells from damage.
REDUCED DIABETES RISK
The way a Flexitarian diet contributes to lower risk of diabetes developing has to do with the fact that blood sugars levels are more adequately controlled.
Since most vegetables and fruits have a low glycemic index (GI), blood sugar levels do not spike as high as in diets lacking sufficient buffers. In addition, since you are likely to remain full for a longer time, the chances of snacking on trash are significantly reduced.
Vegetarian based diets are notorious for inducing changes to the body’s emotional and hormonal wellbeing, primarily because of the lack of fat and protein.
A flexitarian lifestyle can allow for a recharging “cheat” day, which keeps the body in check. Similar to a bodybuilder’s cheat day, the body is loaded with nourishment to effectively trick it into thinking everything is normal. Your mood won’t crash, and you will stay motivated week after week.
PROVIDES ESSENTIAL NUTRIENTS DEFICIENT IN VEGETARIAN DIETS
If you don’t keep up on your supplement game, a vegetarian runs the risk for developing several nutritional deficiencies. For one, vitamin B-12, Vitamin D and Iron are more abundantly found in animal products. Coupled with Omega-3 fats (from fish) and magnesium for bone strength, a Flexitarian’s health profile should be superior to one of a full vegetarian.
MEETING RECOMMENDED DIETARY GUIDELINES
The short version is yes. According to the USDA, it easily meets the daily recommended intakes of the primary foods necessary for good nutrition, likely even surpassing recommended fruit and vegetable servings. The diet is also likely to contain more than enough whole grains, fiber, protein and fat. Let’s not forget dairy too, as it contributes greatly to daily recommended calcium intake.
According to theories supported by renowned medical professionals (who also coincidentally disapprove of the USDA’s recommendations), the typical recommended dietary guidelines are at best lax of the true requirements of the human body.
In particular, the protein intake of the typical vegetarian would be especially low, coupled with dietary fats, more importantly omega-3 fatty acids.
In theory, they are right, since protein and fats are probably more important in maintaining bodily functions than carbs are.
However, there is a simple workaround this theory.
• Use Flax Oil/Seeds – if you’re looking for the prototypical omega-3, flax would be it. Flax is superior to fish oil in the particular oil they provide, but require a large intake to be equivalent to eating a smaller serving of fish. The easiest way to achieve the optimal intake would be to consume some flax seeds via fresh intake (such as blended into smoothies, as a topping), in addition to using supplemental oil. This ensures that you easily hit your recommended omega-3 intake, even according to the cannibals.
• Use Protein Powders – protein powders should be included in every single person’s diet, not merely because they support us with high density, high purity protein, but also because they deliver measurable benefits to our immunity and overall health. Whey, casein, soy, and even egg proteins are all excellent choices, but consideration should be made for your particular diet model.
Therefore, what looks like a major issue on the outside can easily be remedied, and will not result in you deviating from the basic tenets of the diet.