A pescatarian is someone who avoids eating meats and poultry, but will consume fish. There are a number of reasons to choose this balance between vegetarianism and being a full-blown omnivore – ethics, environmental concerns, health concerns or even just aesthetic preference. There are several health benefits to making this choice and here is a look at five of them.
- Eating too much red meat can increase your risk for heart disease, stroke, obesity and high blood pressure. Red meat tends to contain “bad” fats – ones that increase your weight and add to plaque that clogs arteries. Fish, on the other hand, contains primarily “good” fats, including omega-3 fatty acids, which specifically protect heart health. Additionally, these fats help protect you from inflammatory diseases such as gingivitis and rheumatoid arthritis.
- Many people find getting enough protein to be challenging on a vegetarian diet. Adding fish increases protein intake without the need to worry about whether you are getting enough beans, legumes, tofu, etc. For individuals who are not allowed to have large amounts of soy – which includes people on thyroid replacement therapy or testosterone therapy – it can be particularly challenging, and fish fills the gap easily. In fact, protein from fish is more easily absorbed by the body than protein from meat.
- Omega-3 fatty acids help keep your eyes healthy, reducing the risk of age-related macular degeneration and glaucoma, and can improve the vision of infants. And they are vital for your brain – eating more fish can help you think more clearly and reduce your risk of dementia. Oh, and they’re good for your skin and hair, too! Even if you don’t want to go full-blown pescatarian, you should think about adding more fish to your diet.
- There is a lot more variety in seafood than meat. Most Americans, for example, consume only beef, pork, chicken and turkey – and often reject other meats such as lamb or goat. In the end, all kinds of red meat are similar in terms of nutritional value. Because seafood varies more widely, it’s easier to put together a meal plan to match your specific needs for fat and protein – which vary according to age, gender, activity level and personal genetics. You can increase fat by consuming fish such as salmon or herring and reduce it by opting for cod or pollock.
- It’s better for the environment, as long as you make sure the seafood you consume comes from sustainable sources. Raising livestock on land has high costs in water and in land that could be used to raise crops for humans. Disposing of livestock waste causes pollution and other problems, although model plants to turn biowaste into fuel have mitigated this. Eating less meat helps the environment, and switching to fish as your source of protein helps it further.
A pescatarian diet is better for you and better for the planet. If you want to know how to get started, consider Catered Fit’s pescatarian meal plan. We will deliver freshly cooked gourmet meals daily at a reasonable price and our specialists will help you find the pescatarian diet that is perfect for you.