The Conscious Gut

The Pescatarian Diet: What Is It And How To Follow?

In today’s fast-paced world, we’re always short on time and energy to dedicate ourselves to long-term diets. That is why we end up resorting to any food at hand making it our daily default choice or jumping on the bandwagon of fad diets which take a toll on our health and bodies. In this article you’ll learn more about Pescatarian diet, that doesn’t call for drastic lifestyle changes but still bring the desired results.

So, What Is The Pescatarian Diet, Exactly?

Plant-based diets have exploded in popularity over the past few years with the Pescatarian diet fighting for the spotlight and showing astonishing results. A pescatarian diet is essentially a vegetarian diet that also includes fish and seafood. Pescatarian diet is a perfect match for people who naturally gravitate to vegetarianism but at the end of the day can’t sacrifice animal protein once and for all (345).

What To Eat On The Pescatarian Diet?

The whole point of this diet is basing the bulk of your food intake around vegetables, fruits, grains, legumes, fish and seafood. Omega-3 fatty acids are underrepresented in typical diets, so loading up on cod, salmon, mackerel, seabass, trout, shrimp etc. can help counteract that. This is important because Omega-3 fatty acids can lower triglyceride levels, reduce inflammation, bring blood pressure down and alleviate the symptoms of metabolic syndrome (4).

Fruits and vegetables should become your go-to source of fiber, magnesium, zinc, iron and folic acid. By incorporating fruits and vegetables into your daily diet you decrease your chances of developing a coronary heart disease, boost blood flow and enhance cell function. So remember, eat the rainbow and keep your health in check!

Legumes are naturally low in fat and contain a wide variety of nutrients such as fiber, protein, carbohydrate, B vitamins, iron, copper, magnesium, manganese, zinc, and phosphorus. There are countless options that will keep you satiated, satisfied and healthy. For instance, adding chickpeas, soybeans, kidney beans, baked beans, red, green or brown lentils will keep the hunger pangs at bay, load you with protein and give you a long-lasting energy boost (1).

Whole grains are packed with nutrients (protein, fiber), minerals (iron, copper) and antioxidants. Regular consumption of whole grains promotes “good bacteria” in the colon and reduces the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and obesity (2).

How To Start?

If you consider trying out Pescatarian diet, you need to know a couple of things:

Firstly, quitting meat cold turkey might cause severe stress. So start slowly, and be forgiving to yourself if you grabbed a piece of bacon from your friend’s plate. It’s not the end of the world and it doesn’t mean all your efforts went out the window.

Secondly, it doesn’t have to be an all-or-nothing game. You can eat red meat every once in a while, especially at the beginning.

Although seafood is not cheap, there are plenty of ways to save your money. For example, you can buy fish in bulk and just freeze it until you want to cook it. Also, fish doesn’t have to be your main source of protein. Remember to switch things up and add more legumes.

Drawbacks

Even though a Pescatarian diet packs many benefits, it comes with a number of drawbacks and pitfalls you should look out for.

  •       Quite pricey
  •       Low on B-12 –  a vitamin which is crucial for sustaining a healthy nervous system and maintaining fast metabolism
  •       Certain fish are high in mercury (swordfish, shark, bigeye tuna, orange roughy)
  •       Dieters contribute to overfishing and depleted fish stocks

Remember that sticking to a healthy diet is only a half of your contribution to getting the body of your dream. Having regular workout is another thing that matters. Opt for the type of exercise you enjoy most and consult your physician to exclude any health risks.

Alexandra Danieli

Alexandra Danieli, CHC, The Conscious Gut
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