Pescatarian is a diet without eating meat. However, people who follow this diet still eat fish and other types of seafood, such as shellfish and shrimp, as well as eggs and milk. The pescatarian diet is also believed to provide many health benefits.
The term pescatarian comes from the word pesce which means fish in Italian, while the word dance is taken from vegetarian. Sometimes, this diet is also referred to as pesco-vegetarian or pescetarian.
Foods Consumed in a Pescatarian Diet
The pescatarian diet is still classified as a type of vegetarian diet. People on a pescatarian diet avoid red meat and poultry, but can eat the following foods:
- Nuts and their processed products, such as tofu and tempeh
- Fish, both marine and freshwater fish, including tilapia
- Seafood, including shrimp, squid, clams, and octopus
- Milk and its processed products, such as yogurt and cheese
However, there are also some people who follow a pescatarian diet choose not to eat eggs along with milk and other dairy products at all. This diet is called lacto-ovo-pescatarian.
Some Benefits of the Pescatarian Diet
One of the reasons why many people are starting to adopt a vegetarian and pescatarian diet is because of concern for the environment.
This reason arises from the assumption that consumption of animal meat from the animal and poultry farming industry can have a negative impact on the environment. This is because the industry can produce a lot of pollution and trigger global warming.
However, there are also those who choose to go on a pescatarian diet for health reasons. This is because the pescatarian diet is dominated by foods with high nutritional value, such as fish, seafood, vegetables, and fruits.
The following are some of the benefits of a pescatarian diet for health:
1. Sufficient protein needs
Protein is a very important nutrient intake for the body. Protein is needed to produce new cells and body tissues, support the healing process of wounds or illness, and produce various hormones.
One of the risks of being a vegetarian or vegan is not getting enough protein intake. This is because both types of eating patterns require the culprit not to eat meat.
Therefore, now many people turn to the pescatarian diet because this diet still allows people who live it to eat fish and seafood as well as milk and eggs. These foods are good sources of protein for body health.
2. Get omega-3 intake
Some types of fish, such as milkfish, salmon, tuna, and tuna, are rich in omega-3. These healthy fatty acids have many benefits, including maintaining heart health, supporting brain function and health, maintaining eye health, and lowering and controlling blood pressure.
3. Reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease
The pescatarian diet requires people who live it to consume more vegetables, fruit, nuts, and fish and seafood. By increasing the consumption of these healthy foods, the intake of important nutrients for the body such as protein, omega-3, as well as various vitamins and minerals, will be fulfilled.
Some research so far says that the pescatarian diet can lower bad LDL cholesterol levels and increase the amount of good cholesterol in the body. This is good for preventing cardiovascular diseases, such as heart disease and stroke.
4. Control your weight
People who undergo a pescatarian diet are required to consume more nutritious foods, such as vegetables, fruit, eggs, and fish. The intake of nutrients in the form of protein, healthy fats, complex carbohydrates, and fiber which is obtained from this diet will make it easier to control body weight.
Therefore, you can try a pescatarian diet if you are losing weight or keeping it ideal. However, not only by following this healthy diet, you also need to exercise regularly and limit excess calorie intake.
Pescatarian Diet Risks
Although claimed to be healthier, the pescatarian diet also has drawbacks, which can increase the risk of certain health problems. The following are some of the risks of the pescatarian diet that are important for you to know:
The pescatarian diet will make people who live it consume more seafood, such as squid, crab, octopus, and lobster. These foods are known to contain a lot of cholesterol.
If consumed too much, it is feared that high-cholesterol foods can cause bad LDL cholesterol levels in the blood to increase so that it is at risk of accumulating in the blood vessels.
To prevent this from happening, you are advised to exercise regularly and eat lots of fibrous foods, such as vegetables, fruit, nuts, and seeds. To be healthier, it’s best to cook seafood or fish by grilling, steaming, or boiling it to limit the amount of oil in the food.
Excessive mercury exposure
In addition, another risk of a pescatarian diet is excessive mercury exposure from seafood. Some types of seafood, such as tuna, mackerel, and swordfish, are high in mercury.
To avoid this, you can choose other types of fish and seafood with lower mercury content, such as catfish, mackerel, goldfish, selar fish, grouper, or shrimp.
Following a pescatarian diet can indeed provide health benefits. So that the benefits obtained can be maximized, make sure your plate contains a balanced nutritious food menu.
Also pay attention to how to process the food consumed. Eating processed or fried foods is certainly not as healthy as eating boiled, steamed, or baked foods.
If you still have questions about the pescatarian diet or are interested in trying this diet, you should first consult a nutritionist, especially if you have certain medical conditions.