WTF Is the Flexitarian Diet (And Should You Try It)?
For those following a vegetarian diet, the potential health benefits are huge. A balanced vegetarian diet has been shown to decrease body mass index and lower your risk of high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, stroke, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, and even cancer. Plus, with options like parmesan zucchini chips and spaghetti squash pie, veggie-centric food also happens to be delicious.
What’s more, eating meat is more than a personal health issue—it affects the wellbeing of our planet too. Recent research shows that agriculture and the livestock industry is third largest generator of greenhouse gases, right behind transportation. In fact, a 20 percent decrease in meat consumption throughout the U.S. would have the same energy saving impact as every American driver switching from a standard car to a Prius. This all kind of makes you question the wisdom of picking up a chicken sandwich after an eco-friendly bike commute, right?
But as Americans, we aren't giving up our steaks anytime soon. The average American downs more than to 200 pounds of meat, poultry, and fish every year, which is nearly 20 percent higher than rates from 50 years ago.
That being said, burgers taste good. Meat is pretty easy to cook, it's nourishing and familiar, and it makes ordering at a restaurant much easier. Plus, it's a good source of protein, one of the basic and necessary building blocks of a healthy body. Vegetarianism just isn’t for everybody, and that’s OK. So, what’s an environmentally and health conscious omnivore to do?