Pescetarianism, a term coined in fairly recently in the past decade refers to an eating lifestyle that excludes all forms of meat (beef, pork, veal, chicken, etc.) and instead only allows for fish and seafood as their only food source derived from animals. As an exception to the rule dairy products and eggs may or may not be included depending on individual preference. Apart from fish and seafood , fruits and vegetables are a major component of a pescetarians diet providing other necessary nutrients which can be lacking in the bounty of the sea.
Some people have different motivations of going pescetarian. Similar to some people going vegetarian or vegan, some pescetarians go meatless for health and ethical reasons while others do so to follow a trend with the usually common objective of losing weight.
Depending on one’s intention of going into it, there are many pros and cons to consider before making the choice. A bonus for some is if they already love the taste, texture and variety of seafood beforehand. On the other hand, being allergic to seafood is obviously a deterrent. There are hundreds of choices from deep sea to fresh fish, shellfish like clams, mussels, crabs, shrimps and lobsters each with a special flavors and textures that can keep one’s plate filled with vibrant gourmet recipes flavor for a lifetime. Still for some, despite the many choices, some still see it as limited especially if the availability of food in one’s neighborhood isn’t that wide.
Mercury contamination in some large deep sea fish is something to be concerned about by pescetarians (especially pregnant or lactating women) especially since they do not alternate their diet with meats and poultry like those who follow a conventional diet. Make a note of these fish which includes shark, marlin, orange roughy and some types of tuna and mackerel.
While eating seafood is viewed by some as being a greener or more environmentally conscious lifestyle, there are still issues of over fishing as well as aquaculture methods that aren’t very ocean friendly. As such, if this is an issue, purchase seafood that have been caught or raised in a sustainable manner.
An added variety when it comes to preparing seafood is that it can be eaten raw or partially cooked like in sushi, sashimi and ceviche dishes. Again, it is imperative to purchase the freshest seafood to avoid any risk of food borne illness.
Despite some fish having high levels of protein, some still view it as not enough as compared to eating meat and poultry. To mitigate this, eat different kinds of seafood and incorporate protein rich vegetables to the plate. Go for fresh caught and go easy canned and heavily processed fish which usually has a lot of added sodium and fat.