Flexitarian, Vegan, Pescetarian: Which Diet Is Right For You?
You’ve made the decision to cut down on your meat consumption, but now it’s time to decide how to make this change a reality. The next step in the process is deciding which diet is right for you. Luckily, there is a massive amount of information available from dieticians, nutritionists, internet resources, specialty cookbooks, and health guides. However, there are actually so many choices out there that you might feel overwhelmed by all the options. To help keep things simple, we’ve put together this easy guide on the basics of Flexitarian, Vegan, and Pescetarian diets.
As its name indicates, the Flexitarian Diet is the most flexible of all the options on our list. According to Healthline, the Flexitarian Diet is a way of eating that encourages people to eat mostly meat-free meals. However, meat can be consumed occasionally, as long as it is done in moderation.
The flexibility of this diet also applies to calorie and macronutrient consumption. Macronutrients consist of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats, and you can learn more about macros here. Many diets call for participants to pay close attention to their macronutrient consumption. For the Flexitarian Diet, though, there are no set calorie or macro goals.
Is a Flexitarian Diet Right for You?
The main benefit of the Flexitarian Diet is that it’s not overly rigid. Dieters are encouraged to follow a plant-forward lifestyle, but there is flexibility for some meat to be consumed. There are also no specific calorie or macronutrient goals, which means that dieters will not need to fixate too much on counting numbers. The open mindset allows for people to develop a healthy relationship with food, sustain this diet long-term, and to positively impact the environment due to lowered meat consumption.
Are you interested in pursuing this option? Click here to read more about the Flexitarian Diet.
The Vegan Diet has gained a lot of popularity in recent years, with many celebrities and notable figures speaking out regularly about their passion for the diet. Veganism calls for the avoidance of all animal products, including meat, eggs, and dairy. In fact, veganism extends beyond the consumption of food: vegans oppose the exploitation of animals in any form and for any purpose.
It is important that vegans do not fall into the trap of thinking all food devoid of animal cruelty must automatically be healthy. Healthline highlights a possible “Junk-Food Vegan Diet” in which people rely too much on “quick” vegan foods that are heavily processed. Instead, vegans should try to incorporate whole plant foods like vegetables, fruits, legumes, seeds, nuts, and whole grains.
Is a Vegan Diet Right for You?
There are many benefits to the Vegan Det. Veganism can encourage weight loss, lower cholesterol, and help control diabetes. Furthermore, the Vegan Diet has a strong impact on the environment, which you can read about more below.
Are you interested in veganism? Click here to learn more about the Vegan Diet.
If you feel the Flexitarian Diet does not provide enough structure, you might consider another alternative to fully meat-free eating: pescetarianism. According to Healthy Eating, the Pescetarian Diet is a way of eating that emits all land-based meat sources and poultry, but allows for the consumption of fish and other seafood products.
There are multiple reasons why someone may choose to pursue this diet. Some people become pescetarian for moral and ethical reasons, as there is a school of thought that is against the consumption of warm-blooded animals versus cold-blooded animals. Others may choose the Pescetarian Diet because they dislike the taste of land-based meat and poultry, because they are interested in a stepping-stone option before diving fully into vegetarianism or veganism, or because they enjoy the health benefits of the diet.
Is a Pescetarian Diet Right for You?
Medical News Today states that eating fish rich in omega-3s can lead to a healthier heart and lower blood pressure. Increasing plant consumption also has benefits for the heart. Finally, like the other options, pescetarianism also has a positive environmental impact.
Are you interested in adopting this lifestyle? Click here to learn more about the Pescetarian Diet.
Environmental Benefits of Eating Less Meat
All three of these diets have a positive impact on the environment by encouraging less meat consumption. According to the Guardian, “Meat accounts for nearly 60% of all greenhouse gas emissions from food production.” Whether you are looking for a flexible option like the Flexitarian Diet, a stricter option like the Vegan Diet, or a plant-and-fish based option like the Pescetarian Diet, cutting down on meat consumption can lead to healthy benefits for your body and the environment.
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