Pescetarianism /ˌ(also spelled pescatarianism) or pesco- vegetarianism …
Some pescetarians adopt their diet because of the inefficiency of other meat sources. For example, in the United States most cattle, and pork were not free-range and fed with grains specifically grown for their food. Therefore, the environmental impact and the amount of energy needed to feed a cow, a chicken or a pig greatly exceeds its nutritional value.Such pescetarians might prefer to eat wild-caught fish, as opposed to farmed carnivorous fish that require food input of other fish. They might use guides such as the Seafood Watch to determine the sustainability of their seafood source.
Other pescetarians might regard their diet as a transition to vegetarianism, an ethical compromise, or a practical necessity to obtain nutrients absent or not easily found in plants. They argued that they have to eat “some kind of meat”, and fish is the least unethical meat source compared to chicken or mammals.
The pescatarian diet is a great choice if you are interested in reducing your intake of animal products. As noted by the David Suzuki Foundation, our consumption of meat may actually contribute to climate change. Livestock production can increase greenhouse gas emissions, so choosing to reduce meat consumption can be an environmentally friendly choice.
It’s not just environmental health that is affected by meat consumption, either. The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends limiting red meat, and choosing lean meats over fattier cuts, to fight cardiovascular disease. The AHA also encourages us to eat oily fish a few times each week for health purposes, thanks to their high levels of omega-3 fatty acids.
Seafood can be a very nutritious choice. If your goal is to reduce your intake of meat, the pescatarian diet can provide plenty of nutrients (including protein), which might be more challenging to get from other forms of vegetarianism.
Choosing a pescatarian diet over other forms of vegetarianism also allows you to enjoy a broader variety of meals in restaurants and at home. This could help you integrate this way of eating into your current lifestyle without making any drastic changes or feeling deprived.
Foods to enjoy on the pescatarian diet include:
seafood (including all kinds of fish, shellfish,
vegetables and fruit
nuts and seeds
grains and legumes (including breads, cereals, etc.)
As you are navigating through your healthy journey consider the pescatarian diet. It might be just the right option for you.
Sherimane Johnson is a Vegan Chef & Transition Guide with a focus on giving personalised one-to-one coaching to help you achieve your health goals. Whether it’s to lower the dependence on medication, improve cholestrol, reduce high blood pressure or lose body fat, Sherimane's mission is to help you get there. Sherimane specializes in Plant-based Transition, Plant-based Diet and Mindfulness.