Flex Diet Myths, According to Nutrition Expert - Forbes Health

Flex Diet Myths, According to Nutrition Expert – Forbes Health

Aside from the many potential benefits of a flexible diet, many consumers are still confused about the different vegetarian eating patterns. Some of the most common myths about flexible diets include:

Myth #1: A flexible diet is not as beneficial as a vegetarian diet

the truth: A flexible diet can, in fact, provide the same health benefits as a vegan diet, without completely eliminating all animal products. I think it is important to note that in some cases, veganism does not necessarily equal health, as someone who follows a vegan diet may choose to eat plenty of certain types of vegan foods, such as chips and sugary snacks, a balanced diet .

In some cases, a flexible approach to eating may provide additional benefits, such as association with higher alpha-microbiome diversity compared to other eating patterns, including the vegetarian, vegan and Standard American diet, according to a 2022 study in the USA. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Diversity of the gut microbiome, or the measurement of the different types of bacteria in the digestive system, has been associated with many health and disease outcomes. Experts agree that in most cases, an unhealthy gut is associated with a low diversity of gut bacteria.

Myth 2: A flexible eating pattern is not a vegetarian diet

the truth: According to a Danone survey, most Americans (91%) do not consider flexi to be a vegan diet, although it does. A flexible diet is based on eating mostly plants while allowing animal products, such as meat and dairy, in moderation. The terms “lab-forward” or “botanically rich” help clear up some of the confusion and broaden the recognition that “vegetarian” does not mean “just plant.”

Myth 3: Eating a flexible diet that restricts dairy

the truth: Dairy products are not only included in a flexible eating pattern but are also important, especially when you reduce your meat intake. Nutrient-rich milk, yogurt, and cheese are good sources of complete protein and can help supplement meats in a flexible diet. Dairy products also have a lower carbon footprint than other animal proteins, such as beef and pork, with cheese, milk and eggs producing fewer greenhouse gases per kilogram, according to research by Our World in Data, a group dedicated to gathering research on some of the world’s largest world problems. Despite all this, 88% of adults in the United States mistakenly believe that dairy products are not included in a flexible diet, according to Danone.

Myth 4: A flexible diet is not suitable for children

the truth: Flexibility isn’t just for adults. In fact, a study by the EAT-Lancet Commission on Food, Planet, and Health concluded that a balanced vegetarian or semi-vegetarian diet that includes some meat, fish, and dairy products can meet the nutritional needs of anyone over the age of two. In this case, we not only include plant protein sources but also some animal protein sources to make sure kids get the right amounts of high quality complete protein.

According to the results of the Danone survey, 20% of parents reported that their children take a flexible or reduced approach, which is much greater than vegetarians (4%) or vegans (5%). Nearly 89% of these parents believe that plant-based dairy alternatives are a nutritious option for children, while more than half (51%) believe that dairy products provide many essential nutrients such as calcium, vitamin D and potassium. A flexible approach can be a nutritious option for children, and many parents are already offering more plant-based foods and drinks to their children along with dairy products, according to survey results.

Myth 5: A flexible diet is likely to be deficient in protein

the truth: It’s easy to consume adequate amounts of high-quality protein when increasing plant foods, especially with a flexible approach that includes a moderate amount of animal products. However, a Danone survey found that 66% of adults in the United States are not aware that dairy products contain high-quality complete protein, which is especially important when reducing meat consumption. Similarly, 73% of adults in the United States do not believe that plant-based dairy alternatives, such as soy, can provide high-quality protein. Within the milk alternative category, soy milk has the highest protein content – almost as much as cow’s milk – and is a complete protein as well.

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