The Benefits Of A Pescatarian Diet
Should you start eating only fish? What should I eat? What are the pros of eating only fish? This healthy diet has a lot of great health benefits that might hook you, but if you don’t know what it is or where to start, we’re excited to tell you more about it!
What is a Pescatarian Diet?
A pescatarian may seem to have a lot in common with a vegetarian at first glance. They both don’t eat meat or poultry. Instead, they eat fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, whole grains, beans, eggs, and dairy. The main difference between a pescatarian and a vegetarian is that a pescatarian does eat fish and other seafood. You might also hear the term “pesco-vegetarian” used to describe a pescatarian.
Health Benefits of a Pescatarian Diet.
A healthy heart
Long-chain omega-3 fatty acids are increased in our bodies when we eat fish, especially fatty fish. Fatty fish are a great way to get omega-3, which is an unsaturated fat that many of us need. Some omega-3s in seafood are important for good health.
People who eat more fish have lower blood pressure1, a lower risk of heart rhythm problems, and fewer fatal heart attacks than people who don’t eat any fish. Pescatarians eat fish and other seafood, but they also eat a lot of fresh vegetables and fruits.
People who eat a lot of vegetables and other plants have a lower risk of coronary heart disease, according to a study from 2017. In the same study, a plant-based diet was also shown to improve blood lipids and lower blood pressure.
Full of Nutrients
A pescatarian diet has very little saturated fats, cholesterol, as well as sodium than that of an omnivore. Pescatarians consume more bone-building calcium than vegans, vegetarians, or omnivores because they eat more fiber and healthy polyunsaturated fats.
Can lower the risk of some long-term conditions
A pescatarian diet also may make it less likely that someone will get type 2 diabetes. One study says it can cut risk by between 24 and 49%.
May Prevent Cancer
Even though there isn’t proof yet, scientists think there could be a link between not eating red meat or eating very little of it and having a lower chance of getting cancer.
Why Choose a Pescetarian Diet?
Many people choose to be pescatarian because it is good for their health. The American Heart Association (AHA) says that you should eat fish at least twice a week to get a lot of omega-3 fatty acids, which are good for your heart.
Omega-3 is also a great anti-inflammatory, and also many chronic inflammatory diseases, like cancer, arthritis, type 2 diabetes, as well as heart disease, are linked to other serious conditions.
There could be a personal reason as well. You might be a pescatarian because you want to help the planet and farm animals live better lives. Someone might think that raising land animals for food uses too many natural resources and adds to pollution.
What Foods Are Included in a Pescatarian Diet?
The pescatarian diet gives you a little more freedom than a strict vegan or vegetarian diet. It would help if you stayed away from red meat, but you can eat fish and other sea foods. You might choose to eat some of the following foods when you start this diet:
- Legumes and beans
- Seeds and nuts
- Whole Grains (bread, whole-grain pasta, and brown rice also count.)
Are Certain Fish and Shellfish More Appropriate for a Pescatarian Diet?
The AHA recommends choosing fatty fish. Some fatty fish are:
- Alaskan salmon Clams
- Rainbow Trout
- Striped Bass
- Wild Alaskan pollock
- Arctic char
These are, of course, just suggestions. The best fish and seafood for your pescatarian diet will be the ones you like to cook and that have the taste and texture you like. Fish with more fat tend to be a bit oilier, and the oils can make the fish smell and taste stronger, which may not be to everyone’s taste.
Like tilapia and cod, whitefish has a much milder taste. It might be a better choice for people who don’t like fish that tastes too much like fish. Also, if you can, choose fish that is caught in a way that doesn’t hurt the environment. By doing this, you can help protect and keep one of the best sources of protein on the planet, as well as prevent overfishing and extinction.
What should you not eat if you are a pescetarian?
With a pescatarian diet, you either don’t eat red meat at all, or you eat very little of it. So, here are the most important things you should avoid:
- Deli meats
If you don’t have any seafood or fish allergies? Absolutely! Especially if you like to cook with and eat fish, shellfish, and a wide range of plant-based foods. If so, the pescatarian diet might be just what you need.
Many of us might think it’s too expensive to try to buy food for a pescatarian diet. It costs about the same and can be just as easy and cheap as any other protein-based diet. Fish and tree foods cook faster than chicken, beef, or pork to get dinner on the table faster.