There are a lot of health fads that come and go over the months, and many of them simply pass us by. Who wants to try a diet, after all, that requires extensive research, or never eating anything fun, or even having to count every single calorie before you are allowed a mouthful? Thankfully, there is one diet that is simple to follow, still gives you plenty of choice, and helps you to lose weight naturally without you even realising that you are consuming fewer calories. Its name? Pescetarianism.
What is pescetarianism?
It may have a long word, but that does not mean that it is complicated. In fact, sticking to a pescetarian diet is remarkably simple because it only has one rule: do not eat meat. That’s eat! Anything else that you want – whether it be carbs, proteins, dairy, and even chocolate cake – is totally acceptable. Many people who start on a vegetarian diet, which precludes both meat and fish, will often change to a pescetarian diet because it is easier to manage. Eggs, cheese, and milk are allowed, as is caffeine and alcohol.
What is the history of pescetarianism?
For many people in the world, a pescetarian diet is not one that they have actively chosen, but the natural one of their local area. The Mediterranean diet, known throughout the world for contributing to good health in old age, is almost exclusively pescetarian, as is the traditional Japanese diet, where some of the oldest people in the world live. The Caribbean diet and the diet from Northern Europe is almost pescetarian as well, as well as many coastal regions. This means that there are already huge numbers of delicious recipes that have been created for pescetarian meals. Some people even follow the pescetarian diet for religious reasons: all around the world, Catholic people abstain from eating meat every single Friday of the year, as well as throughout the season of Lent.
In the last few decades, with better and more extensive scientific research into regional diets from around the world, it has become clear that a pescetarian lifestyle is actually much better for someone that most other diets, and especially those that include meat. When this information started to become public, more and more realised that cutting meat out of their diets could dramatically help their health. As the rise of vegetarianism continued in the 1960s and 1970s, so did the rise of pescetarianism, especially for those that needed to boost their natural levels of iron and protein. Now there are millions of pescetarians around the world, all enjoying the amazing benefits that this diet brings.
How does pescetarianism benefits you?
The pescetarian diet is naturally lower in fats and calories, but that is not the only reason people love it. Although there are some pescetarians that stick to this diet because they do not really like the taste or texture of meat, countless more choose it because of the incredible health benefits that it can bring. All kinds of meat, whether red or white, contain huge amounts of saturated fats, and these directly contribute to high cholesterol levels and therefore an increased risk of heart attacks and strokes. However, many people do not realise that red meat also contains high levels of chlorine, which in high doses acts as a poison.
A fish based diet, on the other hand, is very different. Many kinds of fish are rich in Omega 3 fatty acids, which sound a bit dangerous but are in fact really good for you. Omega 3 is found very rarely in nature, and is essential for us as it directly supports your metabolism. That means if your metabolism is feeling a little sluggish, you are lacking Omega 3. But even more impressive than that, a diet that is rich in fish will raise your HDL level, which is essential. HDL is the process by which your body moves fat around your body – so if you want to lose it, you need high HDL levels. These same levels are also the ones that keep your heart healthy, so you really cannot afford to do without them. In fact, a 1999 study discovered that across Western countries, pescetarians have a 34% lower chance of developing heart disease than meat eaters.
What are the benefits to the planet?
But even more than that, living with a pescetarian diet is actually really beneficial for the planet. It takes a huge amount of resources to bring up beef, pork, or poultry in order to be consumed by people. A huge amount of money and resources are poured into feeding and caring for animals, which means that they cost more environmentally. In fact, scientists have estimated that fish is actually six times more efficient than any other meat product. The pescetarian diet is also really sustainable because it is much easier to keep to than a vegetarian diet.
There are also many people that decide to move over to a pescetarian diet because they are uncomfortable with the way that animals are treated. They do not like the way that animals are slaughtered, and how mother cows are separated from their calves almost immediately after they are born. They see pescetarianism as a great way still ingest protein and other good nutrients whilst behaving in a responsibly ethical way. This way, you can have a delicious and fulfilling diet without any of the concerns that you have caused any harm to the creatures on this planet.
Pescetarianism has so many benefits, it has been difficult to condense them down to just these! Why don’t you try being a pescetarian, just for one week? You will be surprised just how may of your favorite meals are easily adapted to the removal of meat, and how you will tone up and get better digestion from this simple change. You’ll be in good company too: Brigitte Bardot, Danii Minogue, Johnny Galecki, Ariana Grande, Andy Serkis and Ben Stiller are all committed pescetarians.