The Pescatarian diet is on the upswing as more and more of us turn to a diet free from meat and fewer animal products.
A Pescatarian diet is a red and white meat free diet, that includes fish recipes and seafood – as well as plenty of fruit and vegetables.
Research suggests eating less meat is better for your health and can help you live longer. Avoiding red meat also has added environmental benefits, so more people than ever are limiting their meat intake and opting for the Pescatarian or even a vegan diet.
What is the Pescatarian diet?
The Pescatarian diet is a diet free from red meat, poultry and pork, but you are allowed to eat fish and seafood.
The word ‘pescatarian’ is a mix of the Italian word ‘pesce’ meaning fish, and the word vegetarianism. So, a Pescatarian diet includes lots of vegetarian recipes, but with the addition of fish. It is also very similar to the Mediterranean diet.
What can you eat on the Pescatarian diet?
Pescatarian’s also can consume any vegetable, fruit, legume, potato, rice, pasta, bean, pulse and nut.
Like vegetarians, Pescatarian’s also eat dairy and eggs, including cheese, yoghurt and milk.
Can you lose weight on the Pescatarian diet?
Strictly speaking, the plant-based diet is not designed to help you lose weight. However, plant-based diets can aid weight loss. You may see drastic weight loss results if you follow a diet such as the 3-day Military diet, or the 5:2 diet, however these diet plans are not meant for the longer.
Rather, the pescatarian diet promotes a sensible and healthy eating lifestyle. Though, you will be consuming far more vegetables than meat, and vegetables tend to have fewer calories and less fat. So, you’ll be eating a diet naturally lower in calories and fat intake.
Other tips to lose weight while on the pescatarian diet are avoiding frying your fish in oil, rather opt for healthier methods such as grilling or steaming your seafood.
A Pescatarian diet meal plan
If you are looking for inspiration for meat-free meals, we have put together some of our favourite pescatarian diet meals to get you started. They are cheap, simple and can be prepared in no time. The list includes creative curries, meat-free pasta bakes and delicious breakfast ideas.
Eggs Florentine with spinach and smoked salmon
Sprouted amaranth porridge with grilled banana
One-pot tuna pasta puttanesca
Creamy spinach and haddock fillets with rice
What are the benefits of a Pescatarian diet?
Following a Pescatarian diet has great health benefits.
A Pescatarian diet is easier to follow compared to a vegetarian diet, as you can be sure you will be consuming enough protein.
Consuming fish, especially fatty fish, such as Albacore tuna, wild salmon, mussels and anchovies, provided increase omega-3 fatty acid intake.
Omega-3s are great for the body having many health benefits such as improving eye health, fighting depression, and promoting brain health during pregnancy.
People who consume fish also have lower blood pressure and better circulation, as well as fewer heart problems.
People who eat more fish and less meat are likely to protect people against cancers affecting the colon and bowel.
Plant-based diets are also good for anti-inflammation and reducing the risk of diabetes and obesity.
What are the cons of a Pescatarian diet?
You’ll be pleased to know, there are hardly any drawbacks to the Pescatarian diet.
However, fish does contain high levels of mercury, and for this reason pregnant women, breast-feeding women, and women planning to conceive should limit their intake.
High levels of mercury can have a negative effect on our nervous systems.
Fish to avoid with high levels of mercury including king mackerel, swordfish, shark and tuna.
The NHS advises consuming three to four portions of fish a week, the rest of the week you could opt for vegetarian meals.
Like all diets, it is important to ensure you are receiving the right nutrients.
The lack of red meat from your diet may mean you could lose sources of iron, therefore be sure to include vegetables and beans in your diet that are high in iron, such as kidney beans, spinach and broccoli.
If you are worried about the changes you are making to your diet it is good to contact your GP beforehand.