With all of the meatless options on the market, it’s not surprising that flexitarianism is on the rise. Unlike vegetarians, who completely exclude meat from their diet, flexitarians simply cut down on how much meat they eat on a weekly basis. This raises an important question: What are the benefits of eating less meat?

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Research has found a correlation between eating less meat and losing weight. Flexitarian diets can also help prevent certain health issues like high blood pressure and diabetes. Given these health benefits, adopting a flexitarian diet can be beneficial, especially if you’re concerned with gaining weight or have a history of diabetes and high blood pressure in your family.

Flexitarianism is also easier to get into than vegetarianism. Cutting meat out of a few meals a week is much more doable than eliminating meat altogether. Although some vegetarians have a negative attitude towards flexitarianism – which they view as cheating – it is on the rise around the world.

In fact, the amount of vegetarian products available in supermarkets has doubled since 2009, and that trend is not slowing down. Last year, the vegetarian industry sold over $3 billion worth of products, an eight percent increase from the previous year.

Not everyone in the United States is convinced, however. While flexitarianism has many health benefits, the majority of people around the country believe meals should include meat in some capacity. People under 50 years of age are also more likely to follow a flexitarian or vegetarian diet, as are individuals who make $30,000 a year or less. People older than 50 and those who earn over $70,000 are not likely to follow a meat-less diet.

Lastly, conservatives are less likely to adopt a meat-free diet or cut down on meat consumption than are liberals. Despite these challenges, flexitarianism is on the rise and we can only hope that that trend continues into the future.

Via The Washington Post