Pescatarian diet: A flexible variant of vegetarianism that includes fish and other seafood | Editorji
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Are you team seafood? Then definitely give the pescatarian diet a shot!

Aug 05, 2021 17:29 IST | By Editorji News Desk

A pescatarian diet is a form of flexitarian diet that strictly only includes fish and other seafood. The term pescatarian was coined in the early 1990s and is a combination of the Italian word for fish, “pesce,” and the word “vegetarian.” This diet pattern is also called “pesco-vegetarian” and falls more towards vegetarianism, as it lacks the consumption of meat.

Unlike a pure omnivorous diet, the pescatarian diet does not include meat like lamb, pork, beef or chicken. But some pescatarians consume dairy and eggs, making it a more flexible diet paradigm.

Pescatarian diet has quite a few pros and cons, and while it has several health benefits, it also comes with its own share of drawbacks.

Health Benefits

  • Controls inflammation

A report by the National Centre of Biotechnology Information in the US found that people following a pescatarian diet had the highest flavonoids. These flavonoids act as antioxidants to control the free radicals in the body and control the inflammation rate.

  • Packed with Omega 3 fatty acids

Omega 3 fatty acids are essential nutrients that are not produced inside the human body but are generally derived from food or additional supplements. Whole fish and its by-products like fish liver oil and fish eggs are the best sources of omega 3 fatty acids. Researchers have linked omega 3 fatty acids to heart, vision and respiratory benefits.

Also watch: Omega 3 Fatty Acids: Good fat? Bad fat? Find out

  • Boosted with proteins

A high-protein diet can be hard to achieve with just plant proteins, especially if you don’t want extra carbs or fat in your meal. Fish and other seafood offer an excellent source of lean protein.

Downside of a pescatarian diet

  • Higher content of mercury 

One of the biggest disadvantages of a pescatarian diet is the high mercury content in some varieties of fish. This can cause several side effects like muscle weakness, loss of peripheral vision, headaches and insomnia. Smaller fish usually contain lower mercury levels than larger ones, so it is essential to maintain a balance between the two and keep a check on the mercury intake.

  • Commercial fishing affects aquatic life

When trawlers catch fish faster than the ecosystem can replenish, it leads to overfishing and this can have dangerous implications on the aquatic life balance. According to World Wild Fund for Nature, one-third of the world's assessed fisheries are currently pushed beyond their biological limits to meet the commercial demands.

  • Might be heavier on your pocket

Compared to other diet forms, the pescatarian diet can be more pricey as consuming seafood, like lobsters and oysters, on a regular basis can push your monthly budget to its limit. 

Are you team seafood? Then definitely give the pescatarian diet a shot!

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Are you team seafood? Then definitely give the pescatarian diet a shot!

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