The term reducetarian has started to become popular nowadays. Reducetarianism is basically reducing your consumption of eggs, dairy and milk without completely removing it from your diet. In addition to that, when you choose to eat animal products, you choose to eat a higher quality version of them, this could mean grass fed beef or even free range organic eggs.
In short, a reducetarian is someone who reduces the amount of meat and dairy products they consume without being completely vegan or vegetarian.
What is a Reducetarian Diet?
A reducetarian diet is pretty much just the same as what you used to eat before. The only difference in your diet would be that you choose to eat vegetarian or vegan on some days or some meals during the day. This can range from eating animal products once a week to 7 days a week or even just eating animal products one meal a day. In addition to that, you would also likely to choose animal products that are from more higher welfare and sustainable sources.
This trend of eating less meat has been around for decades and I’m sure many of you guys might be doing it whether you are conscious of it or not. It is a great option for those who are looking to eat more of a plant based diet without feeling the need to go full vegan or vegetarian. I’ve also been seeing many more supermarkets and restaurants adopt this idea by promoting plant based burgers or grass fed beef.
What is the Difference Between Reducetarian and Flexitarian?
A person who participates in the reducetarian diet makes a conscious choice to reduce their consumption of animal products. Whereas, a flexitarian is someone who is a vegetarian who occasionally eats fish and meat.
Some Easy Ways to Adopt a Reducetarian Diet
Adopting the reducetarian diet is an easy way for those who are health conscious and looking to eat less animal products while not being completely dependant on the plant based diet. It is a simple diet where you do not have to go ham and change everything overnight. Start gradually, you could choose to avoid animal products on just Mondays as nowadays there is as popular term called ‘Meatless Monday’. If you choose to, you could gradually add on more days to eat plant based products instead of meat and dairy.
If cutting out animal products for a whole day is not your jam, you could always choose to eat plant based on certain meals. For example, you could make your chicken stir fry with tofu instead or opt for plant based milk such as almond or soy. Have fun swapping it up, find what works for you and try new types of food.
You could start picking up a bit more vegetables and fruits at the supermarket. Try out some meat alternatives such as tofu, chickpeas, seitan and plant based sausages. Nowadays, there are so many choices for you to pick. When you eat meat, you can try eating higher welfare beef or free range chickens.
Benefits of Eating a Reducetarian Diet
We all commonly understand that we can all benefit from eating more vegetables. Many vegetables are high in fibre and packed with the nutrients and vitamins we require daily.
Research shows that people eating red meat are more likely to have an increased risk of death from diabetes, heart disease and stroke. In addition, processed meat also increases these risks. In fact, a study done with 48,000 people found that those who did not eat meat had 10 less cases of heart diseases per 1000 people compared to those who eat meat.
Decreasing your meat consumption can reduce obesity, increase your life expectancy and even improve your nutritional quality of your diet. Therefore, it is a great idea to adopt a reducetarian diet to help improve your health.
Did you know? The practice of breeding animals and maintaining them for consumption is one of the leading causes of water and air pollution. It has a very vast environmental footprint. In fact, livestock farming actually contributes to around 10% of the greenhouse gas caused by humans. In addition, you also have to grow food for animals, it would take an average 5 to 7kg of grain to produce 1kg of beef.
The beef and dairy industry is one of the main contributors of greenhouse gases. Cows generate methane by digestion and their waste. Cattle ranchers have to cut acres of forest and land for grazing pastures and thereby preventing the ability of the land to absorb carbon from the atmosphere.
Lands are also being cleared to help farm foods to grow feed for the animals. For example, Brazil has cut down around 3 million acres of their rainforest to help grow feed for chickens. The deforestation can cause extinction of certain species and lead to less land to help remove carbon.
Not only does it require a lot of land to maintain animals, it also requires a lot of water too. In fact, almost half of all the water used in the United States is to raise animals for food. It takes around 2,000 gallons of water to give us 1 pound of beef. This is a very inefficient use of water.
Some people notice that they are able to save a bit more money when you cut eating meat as much. The amount of meat an average person in the United States have almost doubled since 1961. Typically, meat is one of the most expensive items in the supermarket. I personally find it sometimes hard to compare prices and the cuts as it is so confusing. Meat, eggs and dairy are getting more and more expensive as the price of things go up, therefore sometimes it might be cheaper to consider cutting down on meat.
Start slow and work in your own pace. If you are looking to try reducetarianism or even just incorporate a bit of it into your lifestyle, you can easily start by just picking up some extra fruits and vegetables when you go to the supermarket. Try new recipes with plant based options, or even just substitute the chicken in your next stir fry with tofu. It is relatively simple and can be easily achieved by everybody. All it takes is a little bit of effort.
Have you tried the reducetarianism diet? What do you think about it?