Saturday, March 6, 2021

What Is Pescetarianism?


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.


  1. Anette

    After trying most diets I discovered that my body reacted best when I ate fish. I didn’t have breakouts and I wasn’t bloated at all – I bloat very easy but this isn’t a medical condition so there’s not much I can do about it. I want to stick to eating only fish but my husband is a hardcore carnivore, he could eat steaks and wings every day. Yeah, he’ll support me if I want to become a pescetarian but it would be very tempting for me to see him eat a juicy hamburger while I stare at him…. If it were up to me I would cut out all meats tomorrow morning.

  2. Eugenia

    To be honest you, this is the diet that good for you health period! i love meat so i was happy to eat fish only and it completely changed my live for better, the only thing that worries me is mercury from fish, due to our polluted seas but on the other hand the air we breath is polluted! what can you do? pescetarian diet if far better than most diet out there.

  3. Marilla

    Barb, it appears to be a vegetarian diet, that includes fish as an option. Most vegetarians don’t eat fish and some don’t eat egg. Fish is apparently very good for you but with the oceans being polluted at the rate they are, I have omitted fish from my diet for many years now. Eating vegetarian is much healthier and I notice that after a meal I am not tired like I was eating fish. This diet is a good choice because it’s not really a diet as such, but more like omitting nasty meat from your diet for better health.

  4. Barb

    Is pescetarianism a fish only diet? Or a meatless only diet? I’m not sure if I got this from the article or not. If it’s meatless I can get that, but with fish only I’m allergic to any type of fish.

  5. Kylie

    I learned what this was 2 years ago from a friend. He explained what it was and I was like, I never heard of this! It sounds like the healthiest diet in the world to me. I am just not that much of a fish fan. I love nuts, fruit, veggies but fish? MEH! I should give it more of a try though. It is so healthy for us all.

  6. Amanda

    I’ve always wondered if there was a “diet” that didn’t have any meat included, and here it is. I can definitely see why there would be a lot of benefits to not eating meat because you can get your protein from other types of foods such as eggs, and greens.

    I’m not on this type of diet as I do really enjoy chicken. But I don’t really eat a whole lot of meat. I may have meat maybe twice a week at most, just because it’s so expensive and I can have other things that last longer.

    I’m going to pitch this to my significant other and see what he thinks about. Not only does it benefit the body, the animals out there, but it also benefits our pocket books too!

  7. Paulina

    When I saw the title of this post I was thinking this diet has something to do with fish, but it turns out it doesn’t. This seems like a much better diet than vegetarianism because it offers a much more diverse range of foods and diversity is the secret to a good health.

    • Addison

      My understanding was that Pescetarians DO eat fish. A few months ago, I was a vegetarian and I did eat Eggs, Milk and Cheese, just no meat. I believe it’s vegans who don’t eat any animal products and pescetarians only eat fish. I can’t say I would personally ever go back to being Vegetarian or a Pescetarian even, but I am slowly eliminating red meat. Good enough for me 🙂

  8. Ginger L.

    I have been a pescetarian since right before I graduated high school and never thought to do research on its origins. The benefits of this type of diet are numerous. I’m almost 30 and have only gained about 15 pounds since I graduated high school.

    Besides the obvious benefit of having a lean body, I also don’t have the health issues that many of my contemporaries have. I lead a very active lifestyle and am not worried about the lethargy and body aches that many people in my age group complain about.

    This was a great article! Thanks for posting it.

Emily Murdoch
Hi I write about health and fitness for women! You may contact me at

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