Going Pescatarian: Meal Plans, Benefits and More

July 18, 2022
Going Pescatarian: Meal Plans, Benefits and More

Increasingly, there are more and more types of dietary lifestyle choices. Becoming a Vegetarian by giving up meat and fish was perhaps the first truly popular dietary option, but we are now seeing a rise in individuals following a dairy-free diet, becoming Vegans as well as becoming Pescatarian. 

But what does that really mean? And how do you go about knowing how to start a pescatarian diet? Here, we delve into answering those questions as well as highlight what the benefits are to a Pescatarian diet for followers. 

What is a Pescatarian Diet? 

A Pescatarian diet is like a Vegetarian’s, only Pescatarians allow themselves to eat fish. Pescatarians can also eat eggs, dairy products and other animal products. They simply do not eat the meat of a land-faring animal specifically. 

That’s great news as it means that Pescatarians still have a huge range to their diet, despite cutting out a fairly large food group. That’s because there are so many different types of fish to eat and a much wider selection easily available at fishmongers than there is at a butcher's. If you think about it, there’s shellfish, all the white fishes, meatier fishes like swordfish and tuna as well as oily fishes like mackerel. Compare that to meat. We are often just limited to variations of chicken, pork, beef and lamb at the common supermarket counter. 

How to Start a Pescatarian Diet

To start a Pescatarian diet, the best thing you can do is educate yourself as to what it entails as well as read up on different ways to prepare fish. That can include what types of food are available to you. Pescatarian meals can be exceptionally exciting as there will always be a type of fish that lends itself well to cuisine or style of cooking. Pescatarian meals can therefore be found in all types of international fare, from Indian to British, to European to Indonesian. 

If you are ever unsure, it can be really helpful simply to talk to your local fishmonger. They will be incredibly knowledgeable about the best ways to eat certain types of fish, and how to prepare them. Plus, a fishmonger will tell you what fish they have which is the freshest. Fresh fish is the tastiest you will eat. Fishmongers will also be able to fillet it should you need. Cooking fish on the bone is the most flavour some way of eating fish, however, it does mean that filleting it when cooked can leave bones in for you to pick out during eating. 

Other options are to look into Pescatarian meal kit delivery - particularly when you are starting out on this dietary lifestyle. Pescatarian meal kit delivery services are a fantastic way to educate yourself as to how to cook fish and what options are available to you. Plus, by signing up to one of these services, you take out all the hassle of traditional food shopping. It is simply delivered to your door, alongside all the other ingredients needed to make the most delicious meals. 

Is There Such a Thing as Pescatarian Diet Weight Loss

One reason that people start to follow a Pescatarian diet is an effort to lose weight. While that is distinctly possible, it does take more work than simply switching your usual meat produce for fish. That’s because losing weight is down to reducing the number of calories you ingest for your body to then burn off. To lose weight, you need to use up more energy than your body takes in. 

However, why Pescatarians often feel better than omnivores is that by eating fish only, they immediately eradicate eating certain types of meat that are not good for the body. Eating too much red meat or processed meat is bad for the body, raising blood pressure as well as increasing the number of sulfites and preservatives that a person ingests. 

Recommended Read: The Best Meal Planning Apps for 2021

Other Benefits to a Pescatarian Diet

There are a number of other benefits to the Pescatarian diet that followers should benefit from, which makes it a compelling argument to turn to this way of life. They are:

  • Lower carbon footprint

While not totally innocent as to negative impacts on the environment, one thing that eating fish only is better at than eating meat is reducing the carbon footprint. Cows and other animals produce a huge amount of methane that is one of the reasons our globe is warming up. The added amount of methane is bad for the atmosphere and methane is not produced as much by fish. However, to ensure that your diet of fish is as environmentally friendly as possible, make sure you buy your fish from sustainable sources that have environmentally friendly practices. That means no trawl fishing that endangers coral reefs or other species of fish that are not widely sold. 

  • Lean protein

What is great about eating fish is that you know you are eating lean protein. Lean protein is better for you than cuts of meat sometimes found in beef, lamb and pork. These animals have fat running through their bodies in a way that fish do not. It means you are ingesting protein that is better for you (in terms of the amount of fat it contains), yet still provides you with all the things that protein needs to. 

  • Variation

Finally, what’s great about eating fish and seafood is that the amount of species available to you to eat is fantastic. It means that while you may be cutting out one type of food, you are still able to eat a diet that is interesting and exciting. You could eat a different type of fish every day of the week, if not for an entire month. As a result, it makes sticking to this type of diet far easier and more likely to be a long-term change. 

Becoming Pescatarian

Following a Pescatarian diet does not need to be boring. In fact, it could be even more exciting than a diet that allows meat. All it needs is educating yourself as to what types of food are out there, how to cook them to their best advantage and finding out how to prepare them. Once you have done that, you will find that you do not even notice that you are following a ‘restrictive’ diet, as you will not feel you are depriving yourself in any way. 

Rachel Lee
Having worked at Morgan Stanley and BNYMellon for over 10 years in pensions and investments, Rachel now works as a full-time business and financial writer.

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