Pescatarian diets are not new, but they have been around for hundreds of years. The pescatarian diet is famous for its environmental and health benefits.
It has been credited with weight loss, mood improvement, and brain function improvements. In addition, it can provide many essential micronutrients that may not be available on other diets, such as vegetarian and vegan.
Is pescatarian health good? Is it possible to decrease weight by eating pescatarian foods? What exactly is a pescatarian diet? First, let’s take a look at the pescatarian diet.
What is a Pescatarian?
Merriam-Webster says that the pescatarian definition means “one who eats fish but no other meat.” But there are dozens of options for meatless diets, so everyone’s pescatarian preferences may differ.
Pescatarian-based diets are a common practice for thousands of years. For generations, people in Japan, Asia, and other Mediterranean countries like Greece have relied on fish for their protein and nutrient intake.
Some people choose to eat a vegetarian diet, while others opt for a pescatarian lifestyle without ethical concerns, personal preference, or health.
Others prefer to eat fish and seafood for their health. There are many benefits to keeping fish and seafood in your diet. It can also help with common issues seen in vegetarians like:
- Nutrient deficiencies (such as vitamin B-12 deficiency).
- Protein deficiency or a lack of specific amino acid in the diet
- An unbalanced ratio of essential fatty acids (omega-6s and omega-3s).
- The tendency to consume more refined carbohydrates
- Iron deficiency
Types of pescatarians
There are many types of vegetarian diets. Pescatarian meal plans are also available. Traditional pesco vegetarians avoid meat and poultry but allow for fish, seafood, and dairy products. Some seafood diets may not allow eggs or dairy products, but others might.
Like the “pollo-pescatarian diet,” other variations allow fish and poultry but not red meats or pork. It’s possible to find a pescatarian diet that suits your needs, as there is no one-size-fits-all.
Pescatarian vs. Vegetarian
There have been numerous health benefits connected with vegan, vegetarian, and pescatarian diets, including lower heart disease, cancer, and diabetes rates.
There are many differences between the three diets, so it is vital to consider them when choosing which one you prefer carefully.
A pescatarian diet may contain fish and seafood, while a vegetarian diet does not. These foods can provide a variety of vitamins and minerals that are not easily obtained from plants.
Wild-caught salmon is abundant in omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin B12, and protein. These are all essential for overall health.
Vegan diets are even more restrictive than vegetarian diets. They also exclude many foods that are allowed on the pescatarian diet plan. Vegan diets also prohibit the consumption of animal products such as honey, dairy, and poultry.
Perhaps you are wondering if a pescatarian diet is healthier than a vegan one. Is it more beneficial than a vegetarian or vegan diet? It doesn’t matter if you eat a vegan, vegetarian, or Lacto ovo pescatarian meal plan.
You have to plan your food carefully to ensure that you get the nutrients you need. While it may be easier to satisfy your nutritional needs with seafood, it is still possible to absorb the vitamins and minerals you need by eating a varied diet and supplementing as needed.
- Provides Omega-3 Fatty acids
Fish is a superb source of omega-3 fatty acids, which is why it is so healthy. An increase in omega-3 food is essential in a world that consumes far too many omega-6s.
The counterbalance of omega-6 fats is Omega-3s. They help to keep inflammation low by balancing the levels of omega-3 fatty acids and omega-6. Thus, omega-3 fatty acids can be considered anti-inflammatory, while omega-6s can cause inflammation.
Both types are needed, but many people lack omega-3s. Intensive intakes of omega-3s have been linked to better mental health, lower levels of triglyceride, better reproductive health and fertility, and lower risks for developing diabetes.
- Reduces inflammation
They can reduce inflammation that makes omega-3s in fish so valuable. They can help reduce inflammation that can lead to many diseases such as cancer and rheumatoid arthritis.
Both polyunsaturated fats mentioned above play an essential part in the body. They help to form hormones, cell membranes, and immune responses. However, omega-3 and six fatty acids can have opposing effects on inflammation. Inflammation can be caused by too much omega-6 or too little omega-3 fatty acids. It is believed that inflammation contributes to chronic conditions like cancer, diabetes, heart disease, etc.
- Promoting Heart Health
DHA and EPA are omega-3 fatty oils that are vital for controlling inflammation and promoting healthy heart function.
Daily intake of EPA or DHA can help lower heart disease risks and deaths and sometimes as effectively as statins and prescription medication.
Seafood’s combination of nutrients can also help regulate heartbeats, lower blood pressure, cholesterol, lower blood clot formation, and protect against stroke and heart disease.
- May Protect Against Cancer
Research has shown that omega-3s are beneficial for the immune system and help fight cancer by reducing inflammation.
According to some studies, although vegetarian diets are associated with a lower rate of certain cancers, pescetarianism has been linked to an even lower chance than non-vegetarians.
Numerous studies have also shown that omega-3 fatty acid intake can help people with cancer by slowing down tumor growth. People undergoing chemotherapy and other cancer treatments can benefit from a high-quality pescatarian diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids. They help to preserve muscle mass and regulate inflammation, which is already compromised in patients with cancer.
- Combat Cognitive Decline
Omega-3s, such as DHA, are vital for proper brain development and maintaining cognitive function in old age.
Many studies have shown that low levels of omega-3 in the elderly can lead to cognitive impairments, such as dementia and Alzheimer’s. Low levels of omega-3s in pregnancy can even be linked to learning difficulties and lower memory scores.
- Boosts mood
Omega-3s found in fish and seafood fight oxidative stress, which can cause brain dysfunction. They are associated with better mental health, a lower chance of anxiety, dementia, and ADHD. A pescatarian diet may be an effective way to treat anxiety and ward off depression symptoms.
- Supports weight loss
The pescatarian diet is popular for weight loss. However, low omega-3 intakes have been linked with obesity and weight gain. Research also shows that people who consume more vegetable foods (including vegetarians have lower BMIs, better weight control, and more fiber.
Healthy fats and proteins are vital for feeling satisfied. Many nutrients in fish can also help with cravings. Whatever your diet, you should aim to eat many fruits and vegetables, quality fats, healthy oils, seeds, nuts, and fiber — all of which will help you shed weight and maintain it.
What are the drawbacks?
As with all diets, it is restricting certain food groups can cause problems. For example, you can feel deprived if you only eat pescatarian foods. It is possible to become bored eating fish, eggs, and dairy each day to get enough protein.
This could lead to a higher intake of carbohydrates. This can lead to weight gain, protein deficiency, fatigue, and other health issues.
Mercury intake is another thing to be aware of when you are following a pescatarian lifestyle. Mercury can be toxic, but its harmful effects can be mitigated somewhat by the mineral selenium. This is found in almost all wild-caught seafood.
Mercury toxicity is a concern due to the high levels of toxic chemicals found in our oceans. Therefore, it’s important to eat smaller fish and limit your intake of high-mercury seafood like king mackerel and tilefish.
Planning your meals and adding variety to your diet can help you succeed on the pescatarian diet.
To get plenty of nutrients, you can create a balanced, balanced pescatarian meal plan that includes breakfast, lunch, and dinner. In addition, Pescatarian meal preparation and experimentation with various pescatarian dishes can increase the nutritional value of your meals.
- A pescatarian diet consists primarily of fish and seafood but does not include meat or poultry.
- There are many options for the pescatarian diet. Some diets may include poultry, while others might restrict dairy and honey.
- The pescatarian diet has many health benefits, in addition to its potential environmental and ethical services.
- Pescatarian benefits include lower inflammation, better heart health, improved cognitive function, weight loss, mood improvement, and a lower chance of developing cancer.
- It is essential to plan your meals carefully and avoid high-mercury fish varieties to ensure that you are meeting your nutritional requirements and avoiding any side effects.