Also called semi-vegetarianism or part-time vegetarianism, it’s a way of eating that is mostly
plant-based. Meat and animal products are consumed in moderation. There are no specific rules or suggestions, which makes it an attractive option for people looking to reduce their consumption of animal products.
The flexitarian diet includes a variety of plant-based foods with an emphasis on plant protein
rather than animal protein. The quality of animal products is more important than the quantity
and frequency of consumption. For example, eggs from free-range hens will be preferred, wild
fish, grass-fed meat and dairy products.
Red and processed meats increase health risks. Despite what the Annals of Internal Medicine
study suggests, Dr. Hu says a growing body of evidence shows a clear link between high
consumption of red and processed meats and a higher risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes.
and premature death. “The evidence is consistent across different studies,” he says.
An overview of vegetarian diets
Vegan: The vegan diet means eliminating all foods of animal origin.
Vegetarian: A diet excluding proteins of animal origin and including dairy products and eggs.
Pescatarian diet: Vegetarian diet including fish and shellfish.
Pollotarian diet: Diet that excludes animal meat except for poultry.
Pesco-pollotarian: Diet that excludes the flesh of any mammals except poultry and fish.
The advantages and disadvantages of a flexitarian diet
Prioritizes foods with high nutrient density
Encourages a lower consumption of processed products
May reduce the risk of diabetes, certain cancers and cardiovascular diseases
This type of diet reduces greenhouse gas emissions
Increased risk of low intake of iron, vitamin B12, zinc, calcium and omega 3 fatty acids
Adaptation of needs is necessary for diabetics, pregnant or breastfeeding women
Some avenues to help you
Adopt “Meatless Monday” and try new recipes.
Aim to consume fish two to three times a week.
Integrate tofu, legumes and lentils into your favourite recipes.
Occasionally replace dairy products with beverages and/or plant-based products enriched with calcium and vitamin D.
Nutrioso online tools
If you have clients interested in the flexitarian diet, using Nutrioso's tools on vegetarianism will
make it possible to offer them recipes and practical solutions that are easy to incorporate into
-Marie-Maxime Bergeron RD