The flexitarian diet is a terrific approach to eat more plant-based foods without the limits of a vegetarian or vegan diet, says registered dietitian Erin Palinski-Wade, author of "2 Day Diabetes Diet."

"The flexitarian eating pattern is more of a lifestyle shift than a diet," explains Lon Ben-Asher, a registered dietitian and nutritionist with Pritikin Longevity Center in Miami.

Research published in 2020 in the British Journal of Nutrition analyzed the health profiles of people on the flexitarian, pescatarian and vegetarian diets.

There are pros and cons of the flexitarian diet, says Lana Nasrallah, manager of clinical nutrition at UNC Health, a not-for-profit integrated health care system owned by the state of North Carolina and based in Chapel Hill.

1. Avocado toast and egg This tasty dish provides protein and healthy fats, says Kaylee Jacks, a sports dietitian with Texas Health Sports Medicine in Dallas.

2. Broccoli summer salad Julia Zumpano, a Cleveland Clinic certified dietician, believes summer is salad season. This vibrant recipe contains eye-healthy omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants.

3. Chickpea salad Jacks recommends this tasty and easy-to-make meat-free dish.

4. Chopped Southwest salad with serrano vinaigrette "This fresh chopped salad is full of color, and the citrus dressing drizzled over the vegetables brings them to life,” Nasrallah says. This salad can be served as a side dish or as an entree