Have you heard of going flexitarian, no worries if you haven't. It's the concept that you don't eat one particular way every day, that sometimes you have vegetarian days, some days are maybe a meat meal day, some meals are vegan, some have fish as your protein, others you use vegetable proteins. The overall concept is eating less meat especially red meat, the idea is you should replace those kilojoules with vegetables, wholegrains and legumes.
Is there any science behind this, most definitely. Evidence is emerging that this particular way of eating helps reduce metabolic syndrome (negative physiological affects attributed to increased adiposity), reduce blood pressure as well as improving body weight and diabetes . This diet is in fact reflective of the Mediterranean diet. The Mediterranean diet has been shown to help prevent cardiovascular disease (CVD) [2-3], and diets with increased serves of vegetables and fruit help reduce many types of cancers as well as other chronic diseases .
What does the mediterranean diet and flexitarian diet have in common, simply they are names for diets high in vegetables, mono- and polyunsaturated fats, legumes, whole grains. Diets that have more fish and white meat over red meats, and the big kicker red meat, alcohol and the sweet stuff in moderation. (key word - moderation).
You don't have to go Greek to eat for health, it's as simple as aiming for days where you don't have red meat, days where you maybe have only vegetarian options (you can still have dairy, eggs and other sources of protein - hello nuts). This way you aren't depriving your self of things you enjoy, it's allowing you to make healthy choices in a sustainable manner. Hopefully its a non-diet approach to upping your vegetable and fruit intake (up to 90% of Australians don't eat their 5 and 2) and improving your overall health and well being.
Give it a go.
1. Derbyshire EJ. Flexitarian diets and health: A review of the evidence based literature. Front Nutr. 2016; 3: 55. doi: 10.3389/fnut.2016.00055
2. Morris L, Bhatnager D. The Mediterranean Diet. Curr Opin Lipidol. 2017; 27,(1): 89-91. doi: 10.1097/MOL.0000000000000266
3. Rees K, Hartley L, Flowers N. et al. 'Mediterranean' dietary pattern for the primary prevention of cardiovascular disease. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2013; 8. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD009825.pub2