What Is a Pescatarian?

This environmentally conscious lifestyle may be the one for you.

woman selecting seafood at grocery store

Is a pescatarian a vegetarian? The terms may sound the same but there is a difference in the food items included in following the lifestyle. Pescatarians have a lot in common with vegetarians since both groups eat fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans, eggs, and dairy. Learn the differences between these dietary lifestyles and which one might work best for you.

What Is a Pescatarian?

Pescatarian (which can also be spelled "pescetarian" with an e) is a term used to describe a lifestyle choice for people who abstain from eating all meat but do ingest fish. A pescatarian essentially follows a vegetarian diet with the addition of fish and other types of seafood like shrimp, crab, clams and lobster.

There is no steak, chicken, pork or any other kind of meat included in the food choices. A pescatarian diet will also include vegetarian foods like beans, grains, tofu, vegetables, fruits and dairy.

The pescatarian food plan is considered to be a nutritious lifestyle choice because of the health benefits which includes a combination of vegetarian practices combined with a variety of high-protein items and healthy fats from beans, legumes, nuts, and seeds.

It places the importance of plant-based foods, fish, and seafood at its core and also includes fish as a good source of protein. The diet that is low in saturated fat and rich in healthy omega-3 fatty acids.

Are Pescatarians Also Considered Vegetarian?

A pescatarian is not considered to be a vegetarian. The difference? A vegetarian diet makes it a practice to exclude all animals as a food source.

Vegetarian and pescatarian lifestyles are both healthy ways of eating when you follow the basic principles and guidelines. Pescatarian eating habits offers the benefits of a plant-based diet along with the added nutritional bonus of eating fish.

Reasons for Choosing a Pescatarian Lifestyle

The omega-3 acids in fatty fish like salmon and mackerel fight the build up of plaque in arteries and help to decrease the odds of developing an irregular heartbeat also known as arrhythmia. The presence of Omega-3s in foods can also lower the amount of triglyceride levels and be helpful with the overall health of the heart.

Many pescatarians choose to live their lifestyle because of the ethical and environmental issues related to diets that include meat. The guidelines of pescatarian food choices allow for a bit more flexibility and nutritional benefits than the standard vegetarian options.

Some pescatarians choose to follow the guidelines for a combination of a vegetarian fish meal plan if vegetarianism seems too restrictive. An added consideration is there are also more options when dining out.


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