Blog Directory - Blogged foodliterate: Are you a Flexitarian?

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Are you a Flexitarian?

You know what a vegetarian is, and if you watch Wendy's commercials you've heard the term they coined - meatitarian, but what is a flexitarian? The American Dialect Society defines flexitarian as: a vegetarian who occasionally eats meat. My industry takes a bit broader view of the term.

To the food industry a flexitarian is a part-time vegetarian; someone who may eat vegetarian meals from 1-4 times per week. Since so many of us are trying to eat more healthfully, a large portion of the population probably meets this definition. In fact, given that humans are omnivores, it really is no surprise that we don't eat meat at every meal. Flexitarian meals may fall into multiple vegetarian categories too, like lacto-vegetarian (contains dairy products), ovo-vegetarian (contains eggs), ovo-lacto-vegetarian (contains both dairy and egg) and total vegetarian (or vegan).

Since health is often the primary driver for this type of eating, substanitive, hearty proteins that are filling are usually preferred. A flexitarian often chooses substitute protein sources like tofu, whole grains, and legumes to replace the traditional center of the plate chicken, beef, pork or fish. We can all use more vegetables, fruits, and whole grains in our diet regardless of how we categorize ourselves - so eat well and be well!

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