The Flexitarian Diet Is A Winner for Diabetes Management

This study of the world’s best diets, clocked the flexitarian diet as the best for weight loss, and second best for diabetes management (along with the vegan diet).

Why is this important?

Stats SA tells us that diabetes is the leading cause of death in South African women which is alarming considering that type 2 diabetes is primarily a result of lifestyle choices and can be avoided.

How can being a flexi help?

One of the leading causes of type 2 diabetes is obesity. A balanced flexitarian diet rich in whole foods and vegetables is great for the day to day management of diabetes but can also help those who want to maintain a healthy weight without going completely vegan.

So what is a flexitarian diet?

‘Flexitarian’ is a combination of the words ‘flexible’ and ‘vegetarian’. It’s the best of both worlds for making small manageable dietary changes as you can alternate between meat focused meals and plant-based ones. Typically, a flexitarian will eat predominantly plant-based with smaller amounts of meat.

South Africans want to be healthier!

We all know that we are a meat-loving country. SA ranks as the 9th highest beef consumer and 11th highest for chicken. But nowadays lots of people are loving the idea of swopping their meals with meat-free options – many of them for health reasons. A study by KLA shows that a quarter of South Africans want to eat less meat and 47% of them want to cut down on meat for health reasons.  

How do things like Veganuary help?

Movements like Veganuary are really helpful because they make it easy to try plant-based without completely committing to a total life-change. Plus when you decide to do plant-based for a month, you start to see results really quickly.

Some advantages to being flexitarian:

  1. Less risk of heart disease – A high fibre diet is good for the health of your heart. Meat has zero fibre, while plant-based foods including meat alternatives tend to be higher in fibre.
  2. Weight loss – plant-based foods can have less calories so having more of them in your diet (and choosing the right ones) is going to help with healthy weight.
  3. Better for the environment – animal agriculture has a much greater impact on the environment so by cutting some of the meat out of your diet you are lessening your impact on the planet.  

But remember, keep it simple and do not strive for perfection – it is your journey so enjoy the process and make it your own.

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