An increasing number of people are embracing a plant-based diet. Many people are finally listening to their parents who told them to “eat their vegetables.” Science supports this shift. There are lots of health benefits to a plant-forward diet.
However, completely cutting out animal products doesn’t suit everyone’s body. Most vegetarians still eat eggs and dairy. Furthermore, dropping meat is inadvisable for people with certain medical conditions. People in this position may benefit from a pescetarian diet.
This article will tell you all about the pescetarian diet. We will discuss the pros and cons of pescetarian diet plans so you can make an informed decision about whether it’s right for you. We will also look at what food you might eat if you decide to embrace pescetarianism.
What is a Pescetarian Diet?
Pescetarianism is similar to a vegetarian diet. The big difference between the two is that pescetarians continue eating fish and seafood. Weight loss and heart disease prevention or control are two of the most popular reasons why people go pescetarian.
For some, fish and seafood are the only animal products in their diet. Others cut out other meats and select which other animal products remain. For a variety of reasons, someone may choose to be a:
- Lacto-pescetarian: who eats dairy, fish, and seafood, but not eggs.
- Ovo-pescetarian: who eats eggs, fish, and seafood, but not dairy.
- Lacto-ovo pescetarian: who eats eggs, dairy, fish, and seafood.
- Strict pescetarian: who eats fish and seafood, no dairy or eggs.
What do Pescetarians Eat?
Not every pescetarian eats eggs or dairy. However, no pescetarian eats terrestrial animals. Cutting out red meat while still eating poultry is not pescetarianism. Eating poultry but no other meat is called pollotarianism, which is a different diet plan altogether.
There are plenty of pescetarian diet recipes that include plants that will complement the fish’s nutrients and flavor. A pescetarian’s shopping list may include:
- White fish like cod, tilapia, or halibut.
- Oily fish like salmon, tuna, or anchovies.
- Shellfish like shrimp, lobster, or crab.
- Mollusks like clams, oysters, or mussels.
- Legumes like chickpeas, kidney beans, or black beans.
- Complimentary vegetables like broccoli, asparagus, and brussel sprouts.
- White or brown rice
- Nuts and seeds
- Bread and grains
Pescetarian Diet Benefits
There are many health benefits of pescetarian diet plans. Much of this results from the high number of omega-3 fatty acids in fish. The reason why omega-3 is so healthy is because it improves the health and functionality of your cell membranes and decreases inflammation.
This function helps prevent cancer, strokes, high cholesterol, and heart conditions. It also appears to help people manage symptoms of eczema, lupus, and rheumatoid arthritis. Omega-3 is also excellent for anyone’s gut health.
Another big advantage to pescetarianism is vitamin B12. A common challenge faced by vegetarians and vegans is getting enough B12. The problem is that high levels of this vitamin are not present in any plant food. Vegans usually take B12 supplements to stay healthy.
This is not a challenge for pescetarians. Fish and seafood are some of the best sources of B12 out there. Therefore, pescetarianism might be a good alternative for someone who wants to reap the health benefits of a plant-based diet.
Fish and seafood are also significantly lower in saturated fat and cholesterol than terrestrial meat. For this reason, pescetarianism is a great way to lower blood pressure and prevent obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart attacks.
A low-carb pescetarian diet fits right in with a CrossFit nutrition plan. Combined, this diet and exercise plan is an amazing way to increase stamina, flexibility, and energy while losing weight.
A pescetarian keto diet plan can also support ketosis. This is thanks to the high amount of healthy fat in fish and seafood.
Many people say eating less meat is great for saving money. This benefit depends on what you buy. It’s true that plant-based foods generally cost less than animal products. Yet, some seafood, like lobster and crab, are on the pricey side.
Still, pescetarianism is generally affordable. Whitefish is usually fairly inexpensive and you’ll save money on terrestrial meats like beef and pork.
Disadvantages of Pescetarian Diets
Like any diet, there are pescetarian diet pros and cons. Unfortunately, the world’s waters are highly polluted. As a result, marine animals have higher levels of mercury and other heavy metals in their systems than terrestrial ones.
Heavy metals in fish and seafood are high enough for many doctors to advise against pescetarian eating if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. You can still eat fish during pregnancy, but you should limit your intake to decrease exposure.
Don’t let this reality scare you away from fish. Overall, most experts agree that the benefits of eating fish outweigh the risks. If you’re not pregnant or breastfeeding, the heavy metal in fish and seafood present minimal risks.
There are also some sustainability concerns connected to eating high amounts of fish. The industrial fishing industry releases a lot of carbon emissions and disrupts marine ecosystems. Eco-conscious suppliers and sustainable fisheries are available if this is a concern for you.
Credit: Shane Kell
How to Gain Weight on a Pescetarian Diet
Pescetarianism is a popular choice for people who want to lose weight. In this sense, it may not seem like the best choice if your goal is to gain muscle. Yet, fish is an excellent source of lean protein that can easily support muscle growth.
Eat plenty of eggs alongside your fish for an extra protein boost (if your diet plan allows it). You can also try adding other healthy fats to each meal to increase your fat intake. For example, try adding olive oil to your salads. Make sure you also eat plenty of plant proteins.
Protein supplements are a good addition to any muscle-building plan. If you’re a pescetarian, be aware that some supplements include beef collagen. Try vegan protein supplements if you’re also avoiding dairy and eggs.
Get Your Pescetarian Diet Plan off to a Good Start
Protein Chefs meal prep service can help you kickstart your pescetarian diet. We’re dedicated to delivering healthy, high-protein meals to anyone in Ontario with any dietary needs.
We also understand that your pescetarianism may be only one of your dietary restrictions. For example, we can customize a keto meal plan to suit a pescetarian keto diet. Paleo, Halal, and higher-protein athletic plans are also available.
All of our food is ethically sourced and sustainable. This includes ethically caught seafood that limits the environmental impact of commercial fishing. A pescetarian diet with Protein Chefs should lower any associated risks.
Order now to start eating well-balanced meals that will give you optimal pescetarian diet results.
Featured Image Credit: David B Townsend