A Pescetarian diet, also known as a pescovegetarian diet, is a healthy diet that excludes land animals and birds, but includes fish, mollusks, and crustaceans, fruits, vegetables, plants, legumes, nuts, and grains. A pescetarian diet may also include eggs and dairy.
A pescetarianism is a healthy diet that is similar to Vegetarianism.
Overall, the Pescetarian diet is similar to the Mediterranean Diet, which focuses on fish and seafood, fruits, vegetables, and grains. The pescetarian diet serves as a compromise between a vegetarian and meat-eating diet or as a transition toward a vegetarian or vegan diet for many.
Pescetarian Diet Health Benefits
The Pescetarian diet is a heart healthy diet that is often compared to the Mediterranean Diet because of the health benefits from an abundance of vegetables, fruits, nuts, beans and fish. The main health benefits of a Pescetarian diet include:
- Provides essential micronutrients and macronutrients needed for optimal health. Because a Pescetarian diet is rich in vegetables, fruit, nuts and fish it provides several essential macronutrients and micronutrients
that the body needs to function properly and optimally.
- Lowers bad cholesterol. A Pescetarian diet includes vegetables, fruits, nuts, beans and fish, as opposed to
red meats. This type of healthy eating does not raise bad cholesterol
levels because the Pescetarian diet does not include foods high in
saturated fats (like red meat).
- Raises good cholesterol. A Pescetarian
diet raises HDL (or, "good cholesterol") levels which lower the risk to cardiovascular disease.
- Helps with mental wellness. A Pescetarian diet is typically rich in h omega-3 fatty acids
which have been shown to help improve cognitive thinking and reduce depression, and mental decline with age.
- Helps manage body weight.
A Pescetarian diet can be very beneficial for weight control in several
ways. The foods typical of a Pescetarian diet stabilize blood sugar.
The fiber helps increase satiety (fullness). Therefore a Pescetarian
diet reduces the risk for obesity, diabetes, hypertension (high blood pressure), cardiovascular disease.
- Improves Health for Women.
For pregnant women, mothers who are breastfeeding, and women of
childbearing age diets rich in Omega-3 fatty acids have several
important health benefits. A diet rich in fish and Omega-3 fatty acids
supplies DHA, a specific omega-3 fatty acid that is beneficial for the
brain development of infants.
- Keeps blood pressure healthy. A
Pescetarian diet is blood pressure friendly. Since the Pescetarian diet
does not include foods high in sodium and saturated fats, a Pescetarian
diet reduces the risk for hypertension (high blood pressure) that is often associated with diets high in saturated fats. Omega-3 fatty acids found in oily fish (e.g., salmon, sardines, and
herring) help lower your blood pressure and improve other
cardiovascular risk factors. Fish intake has also been linked to a
lower risk of stroke, depression, and mental decline with age.
- Reduces cardiovascular disease risk. A Pescetarian diet lowers the risk to cardiovascular disease in several ways. Because a Pescetarian Diet is rich in vegetables, fruit, nuts and fish it raise HDL
(or, "good cholesterol") levels, while also lowering LDL cholesterol
which increases the risk for cardiovascular disease. A Pescetarian Diet
is also a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, which aid in the prevention of coronary artery disease and reduces the risk to stroke and heart attacks.
- Reduces cancer risk. A Pescetarian diet includes foods high in fiber. Diets high in fiber have shown to decrease risk to several types of cancer, specifically colon cancer.
- Reduces Metabolic Syndrome and Type 2 Diabetes risk. Since a Pescetarian diet emphasizes an abundance of low glycemic foods,
such as vegetables, nuts, beans and fish, a Pescetarian diet does not raise
blood sugar levels dramatically. This lowers the risk for the
development of insulin sensitivity (metabolic syndrome) and type 2 diabetes.
Pescetarian Diet Drawbacks
Pescetarianism, although a healthy way of eating, is like any diet in that it comes with some drawbacks. Because a Pescetarian diet may include a high amount of seafood, a pescetarian diet may include a higher risk of exposure to certain toxic chemicals, including mercury, lead and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB) which can lead to an increased risk of developing several types of health conditions, including cancer.
About the Jeff Behar
Jeff Behar, MS, MBA is a recognized health, fitness and nutrition expert, regularly writing about hot topics in the areas of health, fitness, weightlifting, nutrition, weight loss, cancer, disease prevention, heart health, alzheimers, anti aging and alternative medicine. Jeff Behar's work also often appears in several of the major health and fitness newsletters, health and fitness magazines, and on major health, fitness and weight loss websites. Jeff Behar is also the CEO of MuscleMagFitness.com, and MyBestHealthPortal.com; two very popular health, fitness, nutrition and anti aging information web sites.
Jeff Behar, MS, MBA