Vegetarian Diet Versus Pescatarian Diet - Which is Better?
No one knows your nutritional needs better than you do. Learning to be the healthiest version of yourself means finding a diet that makes you feel good - energized, refreshed, and happy. If you are considering changing your diet to lose weight, get healthier, or prevent chronic disease there are lots of options to choose from. Two of the most popular, easy-to-follow diet choices are the vegetarian diet and the pescatarian diet.
Not sure which of these two best fits your needs, goals, and lifestyle? Let's take a closer look!
Keep reading for everything you need to know about vegetarian and pescatarian diets.
What is a Vegetarian Diet?
For those of you that are not familiar, the vegetarian diet eliminates meat, poultry, and fish. Think about it this way - if your food used to run, swim, or fly, a vegetarian couldn't eat it.
Vegetarians do not eat things like chicken, beef or pork burgers, lamb, salmon, duck, tuna, or turkey. However, some vegetarians still eat animal products that do not include the flesh of the animal. For example, a vegetarian may still drink milk from a cow or eggs from a chicken.
People who do not eat any type of animal products are on a vegan diet which is different from a vegetarian diet. Both vegan and vegetarian diets generally feature many different plants including fruits and vegetables.
A healthy vegetarian diet can still provide all the essential nutrients a person needs. They can get carbohydrates from rice or whole grains, fat from nuts, and protein from beans or dairy.
Some vegetarians also choose to eat a whole foods diet which features plant-based foods that have not been altered or processed.
What is a Pescatarian Diet
A pescatarian diet is similar to a vegetarian diet except that a pescatarian diet includes fish. The diet eliminates meat and poultry but allows for fish products.
A healthy pescatarian diet features many of the same foods as a healthy vegetarian diet including vegetables, nuts, whole-grains, and legumes. Like the vegetarian diet, a pescatarian diet may include other animal products like cheese or milk.
Vegetarian vs. Pescatarian Diet
If you are considering one of these two diets you might find yourself wondering how to make a choice. The truth is that everyone's nutritional needs are different. And the diet that works best for you may not be the one that has worked for your friend, sister, or neighbor. It's up to you to make the choice that will best support your body and your health.
Read below for a break down of the pros and cons of the vegetarian diet and the pescatarian diet.
Pros of a Vegetarian Diet
A vegetarian diet may provide health benefits including lower blood pressure and lower cholesterol. Eating vegetarian may also reduce inflammation (swelling) and improve overall heart health.
The benefits of a vegetarian diet are well-documented. Studies show that vegetarians usually eat less saturated fat while consuming more essential vitamins and nutrients like fiber and magnesium.
Vegetarian diets may also help an individual lose weight or maintain a healthy weight. A vegetarian diet is relatively easy to follow and it's not as restrictive as many of the other diet fads in the world today.
Cons of a Vegetarian Diet
There aren't many drawbacks to eating a vegetarian diet. It may be harder for some individuals to get the amount of protein they need without animal products, but it's certainly not impossible.
Some vegetarians include supplements in their diet to make sure they are supporting their body's natural strength.
Pros of a Pescatarian Diet
The vegetarian and pescatarian diets share many of the same health benefits because both are largely plant-based. The benefits of a pescatarian diet though include omega-3 fatty acids which support heart health.
Fish products like mackerel, salmon, and tuna contain high levels of omega-3 fatty acids and are common dishes in a pescatarian diet.
A pescatarian diet is simple to follow and may be easier for eating at restaurants or away from home.
Cons of a Pescatarian Diet
Fish have mercury in their bodies that can be dangerous for humans to consume in large quantities. Larger fish tend to have higher levels of mercury or heavy metals than smaller fish.
Eating too much fish could put a person at risk for mercury poisoning however this condition is rare, even among pescatarians.
People on pescatarian diets may also use supplements to ensure they are getting essential vitamins like B12 and iron. Eating a pescatarian diet does require more thoughtful planning to make sure all vitamins and nutrients are covered.
Which Diet Is Right For Me?
Still not sure which diet is best for you? It can be hard to weigh your options and choose a diet. But the best diet option for you largely depends on personal goals.
If you want to improve your heart health and reduce inflammation in the body, starting with a plant-based diet that is either vegetarian or pescatarian will help.
If your goal is to lose weight, either diet will work as long as you continue to track your portions and follow the recommended exercise guidelines. Replacing foods that are high in sugar and fat with nutrient-dense plants can also help you lose weight and feel less bloated.
Regardless of which diet you think is right for you, make sure you consider all the nutrients your body needs to stay well. You can visit SupplementRelief.com to learn more about supplements and which ones may best support your new diet choice.
Eat Well, Live Well
Your diet is a big part of your overall health. And whether you choose a vegetarian diet or a pescatarian diet eating healthy for energy and longevity is key.
Eating a well-balanced diet full of whole foods and essential nutrients is one of the best ways you can live a long, strong life.
Jay Todtenbier is an original founder of SupplementRelief.com in 2010 and has operated the business ever since. He is also a tennis instructor and gospel musician. Formerly he spent 25 years in business development, technology and marketing with startups and major corporations having gone through the tech boom in Silicon Valley in the 90s. He became passionate about, and began studying and practicing Wellness as a Lifestyle, after experiencing chronic, personal health challenges, including auto-immune diseases, and being overweight, that impacted his ability to live a healthy, vibrant life. Since then, he has been an advocate for healthier living encouraging others to live better through making small, gradual changes to lifestyle behaviors relating to whole-foods nutrition, stress management, reasonable exercise, proper sleep, and the use of targeted, high-quality supplements.
Learn more about Jay Todtenbier.
We encourage you to take advantage of these FREE Wellness Resources on our website.
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