A pescetarian as someone who adds fish and seafood to a vegetarian diet.
Therefore, a pescatarian diet is a vegetarian diet that includes fish or other seafoods.
There are many reasons people choose to forgo red meat and poultry but still eat fish. Some people choose to add fish to a vegetarian diet so they can get the health benefits of a plant-based diet plus heart healthy fish. While others might be trying to curb the environmental impact of their diet, yet for some it might be simply a matter of taste .
What is a Pescetarian?
A pescetarian as someone who follows a mostly vegetarian diet, but also eats fish and seafood. Most simply a pescetarian as someone who doesn’t eat meat but does eat fish. The term pescetarian was coined in the early 1990s and as a combination of the Italian word for fish pests and the word vegetarian. Sometimes it’s spelled pescetarian, but this means the same thing in scientific literature
This diet is often described as pesco vegetarian and is lumped into the spectrum of vegetarianism. By that definition a pescetarian as someone who chooses to eat a vegetarian diet but who also eats fish and other seafood.
It’s a largely plant-based diet of whole grains nuts legumes produce and healthy fats with seafood. This makes it largely a low-carb diet, with protein and vegetables being the main class of foods. For example, many pescetarians also eat dairy and eggs. Of course just as vegetarian diets can vary widely. so can pescetarian ones.
It’s possible to eat a meat free diet that’s full of processed starches, junk food and fish sticks rather than a healthier one based on Whole Foods.
Why do people choose a Pescetarian diet ?
There are several reasons people may choose to eat a pescetarian diet. These include concerns about health, ethics and the environment.
Many people choose a pescetarian diet for the health benefits. There are many proven benefits to plant-based diets including a lower risk of high blood pressure and chronic diseases like heart disease and diabetes.(Source)
According to research you can get many of those protective benefits from a pescetarian diet – one study found that women who were pescetarians gained 2.5 fewer pounds each year than women who ate meat.
People who shifted their diet in a more plant-based direction gained the least amount of weight, showing that reducing your animal consumption may be good for you, no matter your current eating patterns.
Another study concluded that pescetarians had a lower risk of developing diabetes at 4.8% compared to omnivores at 7.6 percent. Additionally, one large study looked at people who ate meat rarely or were pescetarians.
They had a 22% lower risk of dying from heart disease compared to regular meat-eaters.
Some people choose a pescetarian diet for environmental concerns. Raising livestock comes with a high environmental cost-according to the United Nations.
Raising livestock contributes to 15% of all human-made carbon emissions. In contrast, producing fish and seafood has a lower carbon footprint than producing any type of animal meat or cheese. A 2014 study calculated that diets of fish eaters caused 46 percent less greenhouse gas emissions than the diets of people who ate at least a serving of meat a day.
Some people choose a pescetarian diet for ethical reasons. Ethics can be a major reason why people choose to go vegetarian and it also can be a major reason for pescetarians – One of the ethical reasons people choose not to eat meat include opposing slaughter, they just don’t want to kill animals for food.
Inhumane factory practices is one of the reasons why some pescetarians refused to support factory farms that raise livestock. Other In inhumane conditions like poor labor rights, poor use of land and other mineral resources, overfishing, destroying aquaculture and some of the misgivings of those who follow a pescetarians diet.
Some argue that fishing is more sustainable than raising the animals for food, Some advocates of pescetarian diet say that fishing is more humane than the process that produces beef, lamb or pork, and that fish lack the neural network responsible for feeling pain.
So to summarize the benefits of a low carb Pesecatarian diet are:
- Most seafood is high in protein but low in saturated fat.
- It can be a healthier alternative to eating meat.
- Many fish — like salmon, sardines, and mackerel — are high in omega-3s, which are beneficial for cardiovascular and glycemic health and may be supportive of brain health.
- Makes it easy are to lose weight since they are on a low carb diet. Fish and shellfish tend to be substantially lower in calories and fat than other animal-based proteins, so protein requirements can be met with far fewer calories by eating more fish.
Below is a video detailing how to cook a low carb pescetarian meal
The video above show Day of Eating with some low carb recipes and a prep update.
Downside to consuming a pescetarian meal.
The main downside is that fish and seafood can be significantly more expensive than meat, especially if you don’t live by the coast. Also there a concern that too much consumption of seafood and expose on to unnecessary high amounts of heavy metals. (source)