Author Pooja Tiwari Mishra
Are you tired of all the fad diets that change faster than the weather? Well, you are in for a treat with “Flexitarian” diet followed majorly in India since time immemorial and it has definitely stood the test of time. It is a win-win situation for both our health and the health of our environment.
India is a vegetarian-friendly country and it has a ginormous number of vegetarians! Most don’t eat non-vegetarian food regularly and while some are purely vegetarian for various reasons; It could be personal, religious, economic or ethical. Following a Flexitarian diet is easier than it looks like. Time to give it a try!
“The portion of meat an Indian eats is hardly 20 percent
of each meal, compared to 80% in the Western countries.”
Indian Food Habit
Most Indians are not perfect non-vegetarians. Most Hindus in India follow two vegetarian days on Tuesdays/Thursday and Saturdays in a week. This means they are vegetarian on 96 days of the year and they avoid buying meats one day before such days, as they do not want to stock them up in the refrigerator for 1 more day.
It also helps that Indian vegetarian food is very tasty with an amalgamation of various spices to complement every vegetable; the color, taste, and intrigue of food are extremely diverse and savory and that makes people opt for vegetarian food as much as non-vegetarian food!
The Balancing Act
Health conscious millennials are turning to Flexitarian diet and yes, it is a diet which is the golden mean between veganism and Non-vegetarian diet. Flexitarian diet or semi-vegetarian diet is a less strict version of a vegetarian diet and mainly includes vegetarian food like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and protein from plants rather than animals with minimum added sugar.
Foods to Avoid in Flexitarian Diet
Processed meat: Smoked meat, canned meat, sausages, bacon, salami, ham, hot dogs, cured bacon.
Fast food: Burgers, French fries, fried chicken, pizza
Refined carbs: White bread, white rice, pasta, pastries, instant oatmeal
Added sugar: Candy, donuts, cookies, soda, cakes.
“Eating meat from grass-fed or pasture-raised
animals contribute positively to the environment.”
This semi plant-based diet is a “win-win” diet; According to the scientists, it could save people from most of the diseases caused by unhealthy food. It is a sustainable diet for everyone. With 10 billion people expected to live on Earth by 2050, Flexitarian diet is a solution for lifestyle-related health problems and global warming.
Minimizing the Carbon Footprint
Food’s carbon footprint is the greenhouse gas emissions produced by growing, rearing, farming, processing, transporting, storing, cooking, and disposing of the food we eat. Changing the foods that we eat can have a big impact on our carbon footprint. Meat, cheese, and eggs have the highest carbon footprint.
While this would undoubtedly be better for your health, switching to a Flexitarian diet provides some of the same benefits to the environment too, depending on how much you reduce your meat consumption. Begin with giving up meat for 1 day of the week and start making your impact. Like they say, a 1000 mile journey begins with 1 step!