Are you looking for information about the pescatarian diet?
You might be looking to lose some weight or limit processed animal foods. Or, you may be concerned about the ethics of large-scale meat production. You could also be looking for a way to limit your impact on the environment.
Whatever the reason, a properly executed pescatarian diet has many health benefits. But, sorting through all of the information out there about this diet can be confusing.
We’ve sifted through all the available facts so that you don’t have to. Here’s more information about this popular diet and its effects.
What does a pescatarian diet look like?
This diet is very similar to vegetarianism with one key exception – seafood (such as fish and shellfish) is included.
Pescatarians eat a vegetarian diet, but also include fish and seafood. Ideally, the pescatarian diet is primarily plant-based and uses seafood as a primary source of protein and essential vitamins like B-12.
Like vegetarians, pescatarians may also choose to eat dairy and eggs.
Pescatarians do not eat any other meat products – so no chicken, pork, beef, or game. A balanced pescatarian diet includes lots of vegetables, whole grains, healthy oils, and nutritious sources of protein, fat, and carbs.
Are there any benefits to eating a pescatarian diet?
Pescatarian diets vary a lot between people. You should not assume that a meal is healthy just because it is meat-free. If you consume a lot of processed foods, starches, and convenience foods, you will not reap the full benefits of a healthy pescatarian lifestyle.
Avoid deep-fried and battered fish, and instead, opt for something like wild-caught salmon with a side of rice and vegetables. A fish fry and a roast salmon are both technically pescatarian, but one is definitely healthier than the other.
A properly executed pescatarian diet is very good for you. Pescatarians often find it easier to stick to this diet than other vegetarian or vegan diets because fish is a complete source of protein. Getting adequate protein with your meals keeps you fuller, longer.
You also may find it easier to manage your weight on a pescatarian diet. Many people report feeling fuller and more satisfied while losing weight with this eating plan.
Research shows that observing a vegetarian-based diet such as pescatarianism can lower your rate on the average body mass index scale (BMI).
Other studies have shown that this type of meal plan can lead to improved metabolic health, lower blood pressure, and reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.
Following a pescatarian diet can have a very positive impact on the environment.
In fact, many people choose to limit their meat consumption as a way to help the environment. This is because raising and producing meat on large-scale strains the Earth’s resources.
Farming for fish and seafood has a smaller carbon footprint than traditional meat farming, and it reduces greenhouse gas emissions. Although it is not totally without environmental impact, it is a good alternative to poultry, pork, and beef production.
Some people choose to adopt a pescatarian lifestyle over ethical concerns. These vary from person to person, but often they revolve around concerns with conventional meat farming.
An excessive focus on the bottom line leads some meat production companies to cut corners in their processing facilities. This results in poorly maintained and operated farms, where livestock is raised in inhumane conditions.
These same factories represent a potential danger to humans as well – poor labor conditions and worker abuse can sometimes occur in factories with unscrupulous managers.
Choosing to purchase and consume foods that do not contribute to the problematic portions of the meat industry can be a way for people to make a positive impact if they have ethical concerns about eating meat.
Tips for trying a pescatarian diet
If you’re ready to try a pescatarian diet, it’s a good idea to start gradually. Give it a try for a week or so, and take stock of how it makes you feel.
You can experiment with new flavors and textures as you learn to adjust your ingredients. In all likelihood, you’ll find that you can make meals that you truly enjoy on this diet.
You should also monitor how you feel while you’re trying out the diet – are you a bit fatigued? This may be a sign that you need more protein. Are you feeling bloated and sluggish? This may be a cue to increase your vegetable intake and eat more fiber.
Keep making tweaks as you go along, and soon you’ll be ready to fully embrace a pescatarian diet.
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