Pescatarian Diet – Meaning, Food List, Benefits

pescatarian meaning diet benefits food list

For those who are interested in transitioning to a plant-based diet but find it difficult to eliminate meat completely, pescatarianism can be a helpful stepping stone. This diet includes fish and seafood, but excludes all other types of meat (such as beef, pork, poultry), and can provide many of the same nutritional benefits as a vegetarian or vegan diet. In this article, we will explore the exact meaning of the pescatarian diet, provide a list of foods that are allowed and not allowed, and discuss the potential benefits of following this type of eating plan as a way to transition towards vegetarianism or veganism.

What Does The Word “Pescatarian” Mean?

The term “pescatarian” has been used since the early 1990s and the word comes from the Italian word “pesce,” meaning fish. The pescatarian diet includes all types of seafood such as fish, shellfish, and crustaceans, while no meats from land animals such as beef, pork, or poultry, are allowed. Aside from seafood, this diet also includes many plant-based foods such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, and nuts.

The pescatarian diet has recently become popular due to its potential health benefits. Seafood is a rich source of protein, vitamins, and minerals, and is often considered to be a healthier alternative to red meat. Additionally, many types of fish are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which may improve heart health, lower blood pressure, and reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.

Maybe you have visited this article on Veggiepedia because you are interested in reducing your meat consumption and transitioning towards a more ethical and healthier plant-based diet. If that is your wish, the pescatarian diet can be a helpful stepping stone. While it includes fish and seafood, it can provide many of the same nutritional benefits as a vegetarian or vegan diet and help you move away from a reliance on animal protein.

What Foods Can One Eat On This Diet – List

The pescatarian diet is a flexible eating plan that includes a wide variety of nutritious foods. First of all, foods that are allowed on the pescatarian diet include fish and other types of seafood such as:

  • Salmon
  • Tuna
  • Shrimp
  • Scallops
  • Crab

In addition, the pescatarian diet includes a wide variety of healthy and ethical plant-based foods such as:

  • Beans
  • Lentils
  • Chickpeas
  • Nuts (almonds, walnuts, cashews..)
  • Seeds (chia seeds, pumpkin seeds..)
  • Oats
  • Rice
  • Quinoa
  • Chickpeas
  • Leafy greens
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Berries
  • Apples
  • Oranges
  • Bananas
  • Mango
  • Bread
  • Potatoes

Last, one is also allowed to eat egg and dairy products such as:

  • Dairy milk
  • Dairy cheese
  • Dairy yogurt
  • Scrambled eggs
  • Omelettes

Foods that are not allowed on the pescatarian diet include meat from land animals such as:

  • Beef
  • Pork
  • Poultry
  • Lamb
  • Turkey
  • Plus any products made from these meats such as bacon or sausage

What Benefits Does It Bring?

When it comes to health benefits, the pescatarian diet easily beats a conventional meat-based diet. First of all, fish and seafood are great sources of high-quality protein. Second, many types of fish are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential for heart health and brain function. Last, by increasing your consumption of fish and plant-based foods and reducing your intake of red meats and processed meats, you may lower your risk of developing chronic diseases such as heart disease, stroke, and certain types of cancer. However, be sure to keep in mind that some fish are high in mercury, such as swordfish or king mackerel, so you may want to opt for safer types of fish like salmon, trout, and sardines.

Now, this diet is not just all about seafood. It is recommended to include a wide variety of nutrient-dense plant-based foods and preferrable little dairy and egg foods because only then can the pescatarian diet provide all the necessary nutrients for a healthy, balanced diet. The high levels of antioxidants and fiber found in plant-based foods can help boost immunity, improve digestion, and promote overall health and well-being.

As for its environmental-friendliness, compared to a conventional diet that includes meat, a pescatarian diet is generally considered to be more environmentally-friendly. This is because fish and seafood production typically has a lower environmental impact than livestock production. Fish and seafood are generally less resource-intensive to produce than meat. For example, raising cattle for beef requires significant amounts of water, land, and feed, and produces large amounts of methane and other greenhouse gases, whereas fish and seafood require less water and land to produce, and produce fewer greenhouse gas emissions.

Fish caught in the wild, rather than being raised in confined spaces like many land animals, are more ecological than farmed fish because they do not produce as much waste or emissions, and their impact on the environment is generally lower. Even so, overfishing, habitat destruction, and other unsustainable practices can still have negative impacts on fish populations and their ecosystems.

If your main goal is to get enough Omega-3 fatty acids into your body, which is a very good idea, you may therefore consider getting a vegan supplement which sources Omega-3 from microalgae oil. After all, where do you think the fish on the lowest level of the sae food pyramid get their Omega-3? From microalgae! Why not skip the middleman and get them from microalgae directly?

Further Reading

  • Pescatarian Diet Compared With Vegetarian And Vegan – coming soon
  • Products with mock fish meats – coming soon
  • Recipes with mock fish meats – coming soon


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