BalanceJuneIssue2017 - 52



... Flexitarians are
said to weigh 15%
less than the more
carnivorous and live
an average of four
years longer.

... For every 50g
of processed
meat eaten, the
risk of bowel
cancer increases
by 18%.

by Oxford University found that
eating meat no more than three
times a week could prevent 31,000
deaths from heart disease, 9,000 deaths
from cancer and 5,000 from stroke every
year. According to a report from the
International Agency for Research on
Cancer, for every 50g of processed meat
eaten, the risk of bowel cancer increases
by 18%. As a result, World Cancer
Research Fund recommends you eat less
than 700g - raw weight - of meat a week
while processed meat like bacon, chorizo
and ham should be avoided completely.
Not to mention, flexitarians are said to
weigh 15% less than the more carnivorous
and live an average of four years longer.
Many people have long acknowledged
the advantages of a more plant-based
diet, but they often balked at the idea
of giving up their bacon sandwiches or
lamb roast for good until the flexibility
of being flexitarian set a more achievable
goal. The diet concept was helped in
no small part by the Meat-free Monday
campaign, launched by Paul, Mary and
Stella McCartney in 2009 to encourage
people to have at least one day without
meat every week.

Annabelle Randles, who set up the
successful blog
four years ago, now eats meat only once
a month after becoming increasingly
concerned about the environmental




Have small aims

'Don't immediately decide that
you're only going to eat meat once
a month,'says Annabelle Randles
( 'Just have a
meat-free day once a week and
build from there when you're
ready. That way you'll stick to it.'


Make meat the side dish
'We are so used to having
vegetables as sides but making
meat the side instead helps
reduce your intake.'


Invest in some vegetarian

'Many people worry that they will
get stuck for vegetarian meals but
there are lots of easy recipes out
there,' says Annabelle.


Sign up to a veg box
delivery service

'When you sign up for a vegetable
box service, you are guaranteed
to get fresh and seasonal produce
every week. Since the boxes are
usually varied according to what is
available, it pushes you out of your
comfort zone. They usually come
with recipe cards, too.'


Learn to cook with beans
and pulses
'They replace the protein you
would normally be getting from
meat but are lower in fat and
higher in fibre.'

BALANCE June 2017

impact of eating red meat. Research
has shown that beef production
releases five times as much
greenhouse gas emissions as other
meats and dairy products. But
flexitarianism isn't without its critics.
Dominika Piasecka of The Vegan
Society says: 'It is important to
understand that veganism is a set
of beliefs and a lifestyle that many
are passionate about, rather than
simply being a diet. Our vision is
a world where animals are free to
exist in their own right.'
While the campaign group
welcomes the fact that more

people are reducing their meat
intake, it does not favour a
permanent halfway approach.
'Those who adopt a flexitarian
diet clearly care about animals, the
environment and their own health,' says
Dominika. 'We are always delighted to be
able to help such individuals to take the
next step and eliminate animal products
from their lives completely.'

While in praise of the concept of
flexitarianism, top nutritional therapist
and women's health author Dr Marilyn
Glenville also believes it should ideally be
a stepping stone to giving up meat totally.
'Meat is not an easy food to digest and
there is more beneficial protein available
such as fish and eggs,' she says.
'With other animal protein, there are
concerns about how they have been bred.
If they are corn-fed rather than grass,
they are likely to have high levels of
omega-6 which creates an inflammatory
response in the body.'
Dr Glenville also stresses that people
should not fall into the trap of believing
they eat healthy diets just because they
don't eat meat a number of times a week.
'It is important to keep up protein,
whether it is through nut and seeds, quinoa,
and beans for instance,' she says. B
Dr Marilyn Glenville's book Natural
Solutions for Dementia and Alzheimer's
(£12.77, Lifestyles Press) is out now.



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