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What is a Flexitarian diet?

Here at Quorn, we're big on making sustainable food choices which suit you. So if you're thinking about trying a flexitarian diet, we're here to talk you through everything you need to know. From flexi FAQs to delicious meat-free recipe ideas that embrace the flexitarian diet, keep reading for our top tips on cutting down your meat intake.

Here at Quorn, we’re big on making sustainable food choices which suit you. So if you’re thinking about trying a flexitarian diet, we’re here to talk you through everything you need to know.

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Vegan, vegetarian, pescatarian, oh my! In a world obsessed with fad and celebrity diets it’s easy to get confused between the dos and the don’ts of the latest hot food trend. If you’re looking for a flexible diet which cuts down on your meat intake but also allows you to indulge from time to time then look no further than the flexitarian diet.

What is a flexitarian diet?

A flexitarian diet can broadly be defined as a diet which focuses mostly on plant-based foods while including animal products in moderation. Think casual or looser vegetarianism which combines aspects of veganism, vegetarianism and meat-eating food habits.

What do flexitarians eat?

By definition, technically anything. However, as a flexitarian diet is mostly focused on cutting down on meat, you can expect a large chunk of vegan and vegetarian dishes in this diet. Some flexitarians follow a meat-only-on-weekends diet and eat vegan or vegetarian meals throughout the remainder of the week. Or only order meat fish and dairy when out for dinner as an occasional treat.

It’s perfectly fine to make your own rules. Everyone’s different and food preferences are the same. There isn’t a right or wrong way to follow a flexitarian diet.

Why choose a flexitarian diet?

There are many reasons why you might want to try following a flexitarian diet, whether it’s to benefit yourself or others. Most flexitarians will follow the diet due to the following combination of reasons.

For health

Reducing your red meat and processed meat intake can have a positive benefit on your health and even reduce your risk of certain cancers. A flexi diet focuses on plants without being anti-meat, allowing you the multiple nutrients and health benefits of eating plant foods without removing those which come from meat.

For the planet

Excessive meat consumption and its intensive production are major contributors to the current climate crisis. A flexitarian diet can cut down the impact of meat production by removing this excess. The science journal Nature reports that moving to a more plant-based flexitarian diet could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 52%. If we all play our part, a small dietary change can make a big impact.

For animal welfare

Another reason to cut down on your meat intake is due to animal welfare. Every year approximately 2.6 million cattle, 10 million pigs, 14.5 million sheep and lambs, 80 million fish and 950 million birds are slaughtered in the UK alone. Following a flexitarian diet can help reduce this.

For variety

A flexitarian diet can help open you up to new foods and dishes while leaving in room for meat, eggs and dairy. Cutting out aspects of food often leads to a broadened understanding of different cuisines and ways of cooking. Get creative in your kitchen and when eating out, try something you wouldn’t normally eat and experiment to form a flexible diet which suits you! For extra variety you could even try seasonal eating to help introduce you to more plant-based foods, check out our handy guide here.

For ease

A large benefit of going flexi is that it’s fairly easy to pick up, tending not to wander from the average meat-eating diet. As you’re technically not cutting anything 100% out – just cutting down. It’s a good transition before turning fully vegan or vegetarian without straying too far from your existing diet.

Try a flexitarian diet with Quorn

Here at Quorn, we don’t do labels and we certainly don’t want to make any one feel like they should eat a certain way. That’s why we encourage Quorn as a healthy part of a flexitarian diet.

Here are some of our favourite recipes you can make with Quorn as part of a balanced flexi diet:

  • Spaghetti Bolognaise - made with Quorn vegetarian Mince, mushrooms, onion and a few cupboard staples, this delicious yet simple veggie Bolognese sauce can be ready in just 15 minutes.
  • Cottage Pie - the perfect winter night vegetarian comfort food! Made with Quorn Vegetarian Mince our veggie cottage pie is low in calories and saturated fat.
  • Tikka Masala - our Quorn version of this much-loved classic packs in all the flavour, but with fewer calories and less saturated fat. Great for a Saturday night fakeaway!
  • Lasagne - our vegetarian lasagne recipe uses luxurious layers of pasta, creamy white sauce and a rich ragu with delicious Quorn vegetarian Mince.
  • Spaghetti and Meatballs - this is a delicious meat free version of classic Italian meatballs is a dinner the whole family will love. Using Quorn vegetarian Swedish Style Balls as an alternative to meat.
  • Chilli con Carne - a rich, hearty meat free vegetarian chilli recipe packed with flavour. Our veggie chilli con carne has all the taste and kick of a classic chilli con carne minus the meat.

View our full range of vegan and vegetarian recipes perfect for a flexitarian diet, here. You can also explore the carbon footprint, nutritionals as well as food waste tips on our website.

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