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What is a Pescetarian?

Salmon fillets are a good source of omega-3 fatty acids.
A pescetarian will eat fish, but not other types of meat.
Fruit and vegetables, which make up a large part of a pescetarian's diet.
Many pescetarians will eat shellfish like oysters.
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  • Written By: Kris Roudebush
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 15 July 2014
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A pescetarian, or piscetarian, is an individual who eats a vegetarian diet but includes fish or seafood. Their diet may be mostly vegan, excluding all other animal products like eggs or dairy, or lacto-vegetarian and include some animal products. Pisc or pisci, the Latin roots for fish, and vegetarian combine to create a pescetarian, sometimes called a pesco-vegetarian. Other terms include seagan, pesce-vegetarian, and aquatarian. Note that a seagan will not include other animal products in their diet. They are modified vegans who include fish or seafood.

There is some controversy regarding the term pescetarian. A good number of vegans and some vegetarians consider fish to be meat, as fish and seafood are animals. Some vegans find the term pesco-vegetarianism offensive as it implies that the person in question is a vegetarian. Some pescetarians consider themselves to be vegetarian because they avoid land animals. Your personal point of view goes a long way in defining the world around you. In the end, it is important to remember that a pescetarian chooses to eat the way they do for a number of good reasons. Those reasons are varied but include a desire to reduce pollution caused by the raising and butchering of livestock, eating cleaner, and eating less meat overall.

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The major problem with eating cleaner and eating pescetarian is that fish, even wild caught, are subject to whatever contamination they are exposed to in the waters where they are caught. In some carnivorous fish higher levels of mercury and PCBs are found. Avoid shark, swordfish, tilefish and mackerel as these fish are known to have high levels of mercury. Check with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for local advisories about fish caught in your area. The EPA and the FDA or Food and Drug Administration recommend eating no more than 12 ounces (340 grams) of fish a week.

Vegetarians and vegans who actively incorporate a wide variety of foods have one of the healthiest diets available. Despite the risk of toxins, a pescetarian diet is not far behind and may soon prove to be even healthier. Fish that are higher in fat like salmon have an advantage over land animals because of high concentrations of heart healthy Omega-3 fatty acids. Shrimp and oysters are also good sources of trace minerals and nutrients that can be hard to find in plant based foods. It is the addition of these fatty acids which recent research is showing that gives some pescetarians an advantage over vegetarians.

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Discuss this Article

anon123192
Post 4

I have been a pescetarian for a month and I have lost a load of weight ever since I have started. I think I have lost so much weight because I go to the gym twice a week and am running once a week and I am not eating animal fats in meat as there are no animal fats in fish.

anon90550
Post 3

Ive been a pescetarian for about eight months. I've lost 12 pounds since then. I'm not sure if its because of ditching the meat.

i do agree I'm not a true vegetarian because I'm still eating living creatures but it is a start. I'll stick to being a pescetarian until I'm ready to drop every meat source.

anon82893
Post 2

i'm a pescetarian but my dad doesn't seem to agree with me. I know i can use this facts to make him agree with me. he has this thinking that all the food, vegetable or not, contains chemicals. but so long as i avoid eating those fishes that contain mercury, i think i'd end up being more healthier than him.

Jemdude
Post 1

This is a good article. I believe that a pescetarian diet is healthier than a vegetarian one since omega 3 is best to get from fish.

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