A fishing diet or pescetarian diet is one that includes fish and seafood, but does not include other animal products, especially meat. While there are literally dozens of different styles of meatless diets, some pescetarians also eat eggs and dairy products, so each person’s fishing preferences may be different, but in the end, everyone looks for ways to get the benefits of Pescetarian diet. Pescetarin-based diets have been around for thousands of years; populations that live in Japan, in other parts of Asia and in Mediterranean countries such as Greece have depended heavily on the consumption of protein and nutrients from fish generations. Fish and seafood are some of the healthiest sources of protein and fatty acids in the world; Salmon and nutritious sardines full of benefits, for example, are two foods particularly rich in nutrients with high levels of omega-3 fatty acids, amino acids (protein), vitamin D and vitamin A. Other types of fish and shellfish provide similar benefits together with B vitamins and minerals such as potassium, phosphorus, calcium, magnesium and selenium.
7 benefits of the Pescetarian Diet:
1. Provides Omega-3 Fatty Acids:
One of the main reasons why fish is so good for us is due to its high levels of omega-3 fats. In a world where most people consume too much omega-6, from seeds / vegetable oils, plant foods and farm products, for example, an increase in omega-3 foods is necessary. Omega-3 acts as a counterweight against omega-6 fats, helping to keep the body free of high levels of inflammation due to an unbalanced relationship (higher levels of omega-6 than what is healthy). Omega-3 fatty acids are considered anti-inflammatory, while omega-6 are pro-inflammatory. As if that were not enough, these acids really have enormous health benefits that have been demonstrated in many controlled studies, as well as observing populations such as those that live in the Mediterranean region and eat a Mediterranean diet in the style of the fish market. The consumption of higher levels of omega-3 has been associated with better mental health, better cardiovascular health, lower triglyceride levels, greater reproductive health and fertility, better hormonal control and lower risk of diabetes.
2. Help Lower Inflammation:
The reason why the omega-3 found in the benefits of the pescetarian diet is so valuable is mainly due to its ability to fight inflammation. They help control the inflammatory conditions that cause numerous diseases, such as cancer, rheumatoid arthritis and asthma. Both types of polyunsaturated fats described above play an important role in the body, helping to form our hormones, cell membranes, immune responses, etc. But omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids have opposite effects when it comes to inflammation; in general terms, too much omega-6 and too little omega-3 causes inflammation; Inflammation is the root of most diseases and, therefore, the decrease in its presence and severity makes us less prone to the development of diseases such as cancer, cognitive impairment and cardiovascular disease. While fats may seem confusing, remember that polyunsaturated fats can be divided into two categories: omega-6 and omega-3. Omega-3 fats are present in foods at the center of a pescetarian diet, including shellfish, green leaves and algae, while omega-6 fats are found in seeds, nuts, vegetables, vegetable oils (all foods that a Typical vegetarian eats a lot of) and to some extent the animals that eat these seeds. Because packaged and processed foods are loaded with omega-6, and most people who consume a modern diet depend on these foods for most of their diets, we must strive to eat fish and other sources of omega- 3 to keep the ideal relationship balanced and inflammation down.
3. Improves Heart Health:
Both EPA and DHA are essential for heart health as they control inflammation; Systemic inflammation is a term for the body’s immune response that increases the production of white blood cells and other substances in an effort to combat perceived threats or infections; Coronary heart disease is the result of inflammation, mainly of fatty material that forms plaque buildup in the walls of the arteries.
“The use of EPA and DHA has been shown to help reduce the risk of heart disease and deaths from heart disease, sometimes as effectively as prescription statin therapies”.
The combination of nutrients found in shellfish also helps regulate heartbeats, reduce blood pressure and cholesterol levels, decrease blood clot formation, reduce triglycerides and prevent a heart attack or stroke.
4. It Can Reduce the Risk of Cancer:
Research shows that eating more fish and shellfish through the benefits of the Pescetarian diet favors our immune system and helps fight cancer by suppressing inflammation. Do you wonder if people who avoid fish and all animal products experience even less inflammation and reduce the risk of cancer than fishermen? A meta-analysis found no significant differences in mortality rates caused by colorectal, stomach, lung, prostate or breast cancer and stroke among vegetarians and “health conscious” vegetarians. This means that anyone who focuses primarily on eating lots of fruits and vegetables (not limiting or reducing animal products) is likely to naturally reduce the risk of cancer. In fact, although vegetarian diets are associated with a lower overall incidence of certain cancers (such as colon cancer), pescetarians are even more protected from cancer compared to vegetarians and non-vegetarians, according to some studies. Inflammation dictates the rate of tumor progression, so including anti-inflammatory foods in your diet is key to cancer prevention. Omega-3s can even help people who have already been diagnosed with cancer by delaying tumor growth; The benefits of the omega-3-rich pesceterian diet can also help people who undergo chemotherapy or other cancer treatments because they help preserve muscle mass and regulate inflammatory responses, which are already compromised in cancer.
5. Help Fight Cognitive Impairment:
Both Omega-3 and DHA are essential for the proper development of the brain and the preservation of cognitive function as we age. Many studies have found that low levels of omega-3 in the elderly are associated with multiple markers of altered brain function, such as dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. Lower omega-3 levels during pregnancy are even associated with children who have lower memory test scores and problems with learning. The consumption of many omega-3s during the acquisition of the benefits of the pescetarian diet helps to naturally treat Alzheimer’s disease and other cognitive disorders.
6. Improve Your Mood and Fight Depression:
Because they combat oxidative stress that affects the proper functioning of the brain, the omega-3s of fish and shellfish are associated with better cognitive health and a lower risk of dementia, depression, anxiety and ADHD. That means that following a Pescetarian diet can be a natural remedy for anxiety, treating ADHD symptoms and functioning as a form of the depression diet to treat the signs of depression.
7. Can Help with Weight Loss and Maintenance:
The low intake of omega-3 is now linked to obesity and weight gain; Studies, of course, also show that people who consume more plant foods (including vegetarians) tend to have a lower BMI and better weight control, probably because they consume lower amounts of saturated fat and calories in general. Whether you choose to eat fish or not, your diet should take into account the need for a large amount of whole plant foods. Some vegetarians may eat more carbohydrates (especially refined carbohydrates such as bread, pasta, pizza, etc.) and a lower proportion of calories from healthy fats and proteins. This can lead to blood sugar fluctuations, problems regulating insulin and overeating. Proteins and healthy fats are crucial to feeling full, and the nutrients found in fish can help many people reduce cravings; No matter your diet, look for a high consumption of fruits, vegetables, quality proteins, healthy fats, seeds, nuts, fiber and phytochemicals, all of which can help you lose weight quickly and not recover.
The best types of fish and seafood to access the benefits of the Pescetarian diet:
The best types of fish to eat regularly include naturally fatty fish, such as salmon, sardines, mackerel, anchovies and herring; Fish caught in the wild are definitely preferable to fish raised on farms since they have fewer toxins and chemicals that are used in most fish farming facilities. Just like grass-fed animal products have more nutrients, the same goes for wild fish; Farm fish are generally lower in EPA and DHA compared to freshwater fish and contribute to the toxicity of heavy metals, therefore avoid lower marine products, such as common farmed salmon. However, one of the things that is least recommended is to eat seafood (such as shrimp, clams, mussels, etc.) or catfish. Many people assume that seafood is a source of “lean protein” because they are low in calories, but seafood like shrimp is not good for you for some reasons. It is known that shellfish are the “bottom feeders” and are more likely to be contaminated with heavy metals due to ocean pollution. They can carry antibiotics, bacteria, xenoestrogens, chemical waste and other things you don’t want to ingest; They are also commonly raised on farms and can contribute to overfishing and ecological concerns. Some of the fish and seafood I recommend more, especially because they are higher in EPA and DHA, include:
- Caviar (fish eggs)
- Red tuna
- White fish
Are there any problems with the benefits of the Pescetarian diet? Like all types of “diets,” restricting certain food groups can cause problems; it is possible to begin to feel mentally deprived when following a Pescetarian diet because meat and most animal products become “forbidden”; It is also possible to get bored eating fish (or eggs and dairy) over and over again each day to get enough protein, potentially leading someone to choose more carbohydrates instead; This presents its own risks of possible weight gain, protein deficiency, fatigue and other health problems. Another thing to consider when following a Pescatarian diet is the intake of mercury. Mercury is, in fact, toxic, but its toxic effects are somehow mitigated by selenium ore, which is present in almost all shellfish caught in the wild. However, given the level of toxins found in today’s oceans, mercury toxicity is a real concern, so it is better to also focus on eating smaller fish. Generally speaking, the smaller a fish is, the less mercury it stores in its tissues; this is because the mercury in fish accumulates as you go along the food chain, which means that larger fish (such as swordfish or tuna) tend to have more than small fish (sardines, anchovies, herring and salmon).
How Healthy are Pescatarian diets?
Although meatless, vegetarian and vegan diets can vary widely, many people who base most of their food intake around plant foods are very healthy; While some plant-based eaters may exclude all animal products (vegans), others may choose to include fish; There are many benefits of keeping fish and shellfish in your diet, as this can help with several common problems seen in vegetarians:
- Nutrient deficiencies (vitamin B12 deficiency, for example)
- Protein deficiency or lack of certain amino acids in the diet
- Unbalanced ratio of essential fatty acids (omega-6s to omega-3s)
- The tendency to eat more refined carbohydrates
- Iron deficiency (anemia)