3 Low-Impact Diets That'll Make You a Smart Eater in No Time

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Eating a low impact diet could be a great choice for your health.

When it comes to eating a conscious diet, vegetarians and vegans have always been at the top of the smart-eating list. Well, now, there's a new list of low-impact diets people are embracing.

The Terms

The new diets that, admittedly, have silly names, but are great additions to the diet dictionary are:

1. Flexitarian: Occasionally eats red meat, poultry, and seafood.

2. Climatarian: Eat less meat in general; no meat that's considered energy intensive, such as beef and lamb.

3. Reducetarian: This term was coined by Brian Kateman, who is a writer from The Atlantic. Kateman says a Reducetarian is “someone who makes an effort to eat less meat, no matter the motivation, or degree of reduction (this is also inclusive of vegans and vegetarians who have reduced their meat consumption so effectively they eat none at all).”

Each of these low-impact diets are quite different but gaining appeal because they don't require a person to exclude an entire food group, but do require the eater to nosh consciously. And it turns out that giving your diet a name can actually help you stay mindful when making food choices.

The Research

Timothy D. Wilson, a professor of social psychology at the University of Virginia, and his colleagues, conducted research in 1982 that reflected this "mindful" effect. The research examined first-year college students who were struggling academically. Wilson hypothesized the students "were at risk of adopting a self-defeating thought pattern in which they absorbed their poor performance as part of their identity, thinking of themselves as unsuited for college altogether," The Atlantic reports.

"Wilson and his team randomly divided the students into two groups. The first group received information suggesting that many students fare poorly during their first year but perform better thereafter. The second group was told nothing about whether or not grades increase after the first year. The researchers found what you might expect: Compared to the control group, the group that received the encouraging words achieved better grades the next semester and performed better on sample questions from the GRE.”

So, these new diet terms can serve as sources of useful motivation.

Who Can Use These Terms?

Although these low-impact diets are typically embraced by people who lean vegetarian, people who frequently eat meat can use them, too. Because everyone, no matter their eating habits, can make a decision to choose to eat the more environmentally-friendly food that's now becoming more widely available.

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Image of people eating via Shutterstock

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