By Sarah Keane • 27 February 2021 • 9:52
THE ‘flexitarian’ diet gains weight in Spain as health-conscious Spaniards swap meat for veg
The coronavirus pandemic has highlighted the importance of people to be as healthy and as fit as possible, and enforced lockdown has perhaps offered the opportunity for us to spend more time thinking about our diets. So says a recent study conducted by Bonduelle, who found that healthy eating has become something of a national pastime in recent months in Spain, with a particular focus on consuming more vegetables and animal products.
The Radiography of Plant Nutrition study found that while some seven out of ten Spaniards habitually include vegetables in their meals at least four times a week, the trend is moving more and more towards ‘flexitarianism’ – that is, eating more plant products than meat, without giving it up completely. In fact, the research found that the number of people adopting this diet has nearly doubled since the beginning of the pandemic, up to 42 per cent compared with 24 per cent in March last year.
In the last two years, Spaniards have increased the vegetable options in their diet by 14 per cent, giving less and less prominence to meat products, which have fallen by 5 per cent. In addition, the study revealed that 30 per cent of Spanish people admitted to having modified their diets since the beginning of the pandemic.
It seems the ‘veggie phenomenon’ is here to stay, but it’s not just Spain getting in on the action. The United Nations has declared 2021 as the International Year of Fruits and Vegetables with the aim of raising awareness about the benefits of this type of food, both for people and for the planet.
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Former teacher and health services manager with a Degree in English, Sarah moved to Spain from Southern Ireland with her husband, who runs his own car rental business, in 2019. She is now enjoying a completely different pace and quality of life on the Costa Blanca South, with wonderful Spanish and expat friends in Cabo Roig. Sarah began working with Euro Weekly News in 2020 and loves nothing more than bringing all the latest national and international news to her local community.
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