What is the pescatarian diet? Do they even eat processed foods? Diets are emphasized greatly on plant-based foods; seafood and fish are the common foods for the pescatarian.

Have you ever met a pescatarian? Where are they located? Who are they, and what do they eat? A pescatarian is generally someone who puts an addition of seafood and fish to vegetarian diets. Surprisingly, these people often forego poultry and meat but end up eating fish or seafood. Moreover, the seafood and fish added helps with health benefits. But others choose to eat them because of the environmental effect on their diet. Some often eat to experience different tastes. This article examines the pescatarian diet, including what a pescatarian can and cannot eat.

What Is a Pescatarian

A pescatarian is basically someone whose diet is comprised of fish and seafood, but not meat. This term came to light in the 1990s. Also, it is a combination of an Italian word that means Pesce (fish) and vegetarian. You can also choose to spell it as pescetarian since they have the same meaning. The pescatarian diet is based on the vegetarianism spectrum hence the name pesco-vegetarian. In this perspective, you can then describe a pescatarian as someone who prefers to eat an only vegetarian diet. But someone who also chooses to feed on both fish and other related seafood.

Generally, a vegetarian diet contains foodstuff like nuts, whole grains, fats, and legumes. Moreover, seafood is one of the main diets in their diet that offers protein. Also, the pescatarians can eat eggs and dairy, making it part of their diet too. The pescatarian diets can also vary like vegetarian ones. This group of people ensures that they stick to their diet even when moving from one habitat to another.

Why Do People Choose a Pescatarian Diet?

There is a wide range of reasons as to why this diet is beneficial to most people. Here are some of the common potential benefits of eating a pescatarian diet.

Health Benefits

Studies show that plant-based diets have numerous benefits associated with your overall body health. This diet helps reduce the risk of chronic diseases, such as diabetes & heart disease, and obesity. According to different studies made on pescatarian diets, one can get several protective benefits from them. Their positive effects on the body make them better for your health. Therefore, consider trying them whenever you feel you want to prevent you from any chronic diseases. Also, you can prevent heart attacks by avoiding meat and embracing a pescatarian diet.

Environmental Concerns

Raising livestock is one of the most challenging tasks you can ever experience, especially when you lack the right aspects. Also, it’s still one of the areas that often come with a high cost to the environment. Today, home-made emissions are high due to the rising number of livestock, contributing up to 15%. In contrast, the production of fish and other seafood has greatly lowered the carbon footprint. This has become great that it can’t even be compared with animal cheese and meat production. What are you waiting for? This is literally the way to go on matters of diets.

Ethical Reasons

Most people choose vegetarianism because of ethnicity, which happens to be why pescatarians do the same. Here are some of the ethical reasons why people prefer fish to meat;

  • Opposition slaughter: People think it’s wrong to kill animals for a meal.
  • Inhumane factory practices: They are against all the factories that raise animals in an inhumane status.
  • Poor labor conditions: They refuse to support the factories with poor working conditions for the laborers.
  • Humanitarian reasons: production of grains for livestock is considered the wrong usage of resources and land when most people are dying from hunger.

When you eliminate animals from your daily diet means you are addressing these ethical concerns. With this said, overfishing and aquaculture are also wrong. Consider shopping your fish from Seafood Watch, where you can get any type of fish farmed and caught ethically.

What Do Pescatarians Eat

A pescatarian diet will only consist of seafood and vegetarian.

Pescatarians Do Eat

  • Grain products and whole grains
  • Seeds, including chia, cheese, and hemp
  • Dairy, including milk, cheese, and yogurt
  • Vegetables
  • Seafood
  • Eggs
  • Fruits

Pescatarians Don’t Eat

  • Beef
  • Pork
  • Turkey
  • Wild game
  • Chicken
  • Lamb

Benefits of Adding Fish to a Vegetarian Diet

The addition of fish to a vegetarian diet comes with numerous nutrients benefits. Here are some are things you are likely to benefit from when you add seafood to your vegetarian diet.

Get More Omega 3s

Fish is one of the best foodstuffs rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Also, other plant foods like flaxseeds and walnuts are rich in alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), a branch of omega 3 fat. The ALA cannot easily be converted to docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). The EPA and DHA are useful in your body health-wise, helping both the brain and heart.

Boost Your Protein Intake

The human body requires up to 0.8 grams of protein for normal functioning and staying healthy. But a time, people choose to consume more protein than what is needed. It can be challenging to achieve the amount of protein needed in the body with just plant foods. Consider eating fish since they are rich in lean protein that can help keep your body healthy and active.

You, Will, Have Extra Option

Vegetarian diets are often limiting, especially with modern hotels or restaurants. In hotels, one can really struggle to get the right meal that will match the diet. However, as a pescatarian, you can get what you need easily since there are several options for you.

Final Thoughts

Most people prefer the pescatarian diet today because of its healthy and numerous benefits. It also helps people avoid environmental and ethical factors related to meat diets. You can also go for a pescatarian diet for the prevention of conditions related to heart diseases. Also, this mode of feeding gives you more nutrients and flexibility compared to other diets. Go for a pescatarian diet today for some healthy food choices for your body.

Marie Salbuvik

MS, Lund University, Sweden

Nutrition plays an important role in human life. Eating habits are one of the factors that affect our health. There is often a misconception among people that nutritionists force a very restrictive diet, but that is not true. In fact, I don't ban any products, but I point out dietary mistakes and help change them by giving tips and new recipes that I've tried myself. I advise my patients not to resist change and to be purposeful. Only with willpower and determination can a good result be achieved in any area of life, including changing eating habits. When I don't work, I love to go climbing. On a Friday evening, you are most likely to find me on my couch, cuddling with my dog and watching some Netflix.

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