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Pescetarian: What is it?

by Josephine Andrews
Published: Last Updated on 178 views

No meat, but fish: Pescetarians are people who follow a vegetarian diet but still eat salmon, trout, seafood and the like. Often the desire for a healthier diet is the reason for becoming a pescetarian. Find out here what exactly they eat and what needs to be considered with this type of diet.

What are pescetarians?

Pescetarianism is a distinct diet based on the principles of vegetarianism . The name pescetarian is derived from the Latin word “piscis” or from the Italian “pesce”, both of which mean fish.

While vegetarians generally do not eat killed creatures, pescetarians eat more fish and seafood. But they also avoid meat. It is important to most pescetarians that the fish were caught in the wild and not mass farmed.

The motivation for them not to choose the pure vegetarian form, but also to eat fish, is different. Nutritional benefits associated with eating fish are often cited. Above all, the omega-3 fatty acids contained in fish are said to have a positive effect. There is evidence that they

  • stabilize the heart rhythm
  • positively affect blood sugar control
  • Reduce inflammation in the body and thus protect against diabetes and cardiovascular diseases

But also factory farming in agriculture has led to some people no longer eating meat and therefore choosing this form of nutrition.

According to Statista, there were three percent pescetarians in Germany in 2019. Five percent of the women and three percent of the men were vegetarian, and two percent were vegan.

What do pescetarians eat?

In principle, pescetarians have the option of consuming all foods – except meat. Among other things, the following are permitted:

  • vegetables
  • fruit
  • legumes
  • Pasta, Bread, Rice , etc.
  • Dairy products
  • fish and seafood

Each pescetarian decides for himself how much and which types of fish he eats. There are no fixed rules.

How often should I eat fish a week?

According to the German Society for Nutrition (DGE), eating fish once or twice a week is good for your health. This is also acceptable in terms of sustainability.

With up to two servings a week, possible exposure to mercury and other pollutants that are sometimes found in fish are still tolerable. Women are better off limiting their fish consumption when pregnant or breastfeeding.

Pescetarians: Benefits

Fish is a rich source of protein and the amino acids your body needs. Pure vegetarians also consume sufficient amounts of protein from plant products in the form of legumes, soy, nuts or grain products. However, animal protein is easier for the body to process.

According to studies, pescetarians live longer compared to the general population. This result could be due to the generally healthier lifestyle of the study participants. Many people who do without meat live more consciously and suffer from obesity and high blood pressure less often. They exercise more, drink less alcohol and smoke less.

Some scientists assume that humans have been consuming fish very early in their developmental history, which means that it corresponds to their original diet and thus their biological needs.

Pescetarians: Disadvantages

In order to live permanently as a pescetarian, background knowledge about nutrition is necessary in order to avoid deficits. This includes:

  • It is important to know the protein content of food.
  • Get enough vitamin D , B12, B2, or iodine.
  • Precise knowledge is required, especially for children and pregnant women, so that no deficiency symptoms occur.

You should note that!

Choose wholesome foods to provide your body with all the important nutrients even if you don’t eat meat. Reach for whole grain products and reduce white flour and sugar consumption.

Also pay attention to the origin of the fish. If you choose it consciously, you support a stock-preserving and environmentally friendly fishery. There are various seals that offer orientation – including the MSC seal. The MSC is a non-profit, international organization dedicated to protecting the oceans and fish stocks.

If you have regular fish meals and high-quality plant-based food on your menu, pescetarianism is definitely possible as a permanent diet and even promotes health.

As a pescetarian, it is necessary for you to deal with your diet a little more intensively and acquire special knowledge, but then you can reap the benefits of the meatless diet.

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