Pescetarianism – What Is It?
Pescetarianism is a healthy diet that is similar to Vegetarianism, in that the diet focuses on fruits, vegetables, and grains and excludes the consumption of mammals and birds. However, Pescetarianism is unique in that the diet includes seafood. Pescetarians are sometimes labeled as ‘Pesco-Vegetarians’, but they are not strictly Vegetarians; some Pescetarians eat eggs and dairy. In addition to including fish or shellfish in their diet, a Pescetarian normally includes vegetables, fruit, nuts, grains, beans, eggs, and dairy on a daily basis.
Health Benefits of a Pescetarian Diet
The Pescetarian diet is typically compared to the Mediterranean Diet because of the health benefits from an abundance of vegetables, fruits, nuts, beans, and fish. This is one of the most common reasons for one to become a Pescetarian. These benefits include a beneficial source of fiber and antioxidants from vegetables, fruits, and the healthy fats found in nuts, beans, and fish.
For certain Pescetarians, their choice is based on the findings that red meat can be damaging to health. This is due to the fact that certain red meats contain high amounts of saturated fat, and animal foods (especially red meat) are rich in cholesterol, saturated fats, and salt, and are in turn, poor in vitamins, fiber, and antioxidants. Such characteristics are documented today as risk factors for obesity, diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, and cancer.
Diets high in vegetables, fruit, nuts, and fish raise our HDL (or, “good cholesterol”) levels and several types of fish are a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, which hold numerous health benefits. These health benefits include a reduced risk for stroke and cancer and aid in the prevention of coronary artery disease.
Appropriately planned Pescetarian diets, sufficient in amounts of protein, essential fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals contain all of the essential body needs. In addition, well-planned types of Vegetarian and Pescetarian diets are appropriate for all stages of life including pregnancy, infancy, childhood, and adolescence. Choosing a diet focused on vegetables, beans, and grains, such as the Pescetarian diet, is less damaging to the food supply and earth, and cutting down on red meat consumption is one-way several environmentalists help protect the planet.
Drawbacks of Pescetarianism
Pescetarianism is like any diet in that it comes with some drawbacks. A Pescetarian diet that includes a good amount of seafood consumption leads to concerns regarding mercury and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB). Various types of fish contain harmful toxins including mercury and PCBs, which have been linked to several diseases and disorders including stroke, heart disease, and cancer.