A pescetarian diet is one that includes fish and other seafood (e.g. shellfish, seaweeds, and other edible aquatic life) in a diet apart from fruits, vegetables, nuts, grains, and beans. Thus, it is similar to a vegetarian diet except for the inclusion of fish and seafood. No other meat is included although certain animal products are, such as honey, carmine, shellac, dairy products, and egg.
Those that follow a pescetarian diet are called pescetarians. The name is probably derived from the combination of the Italian word pesce (meaning fish) and the English word vegetarian. The most common reason for choosing a pescetarian diet is that of health. Pescetarians follow this type of diet to avoid or lower the risk to cardiovascular diseases. Meat-eaters face a higher risk to cardiovascular diseases because they feed on animal meat and tissues (e.g. beef, pork, and poultry) that are high in saturated fat and cholesterol, which are important factors of cardiovascular disease. Fish, on the contrary, has relatively low saturated fat content. Moreover, it is a good source of polyunsaturated omega-3 fatty acids that help in preventing cardiovascular diseases. Possible health concern of following a pescetarian diet though is the heightened risk of pescetarians to mercury poisoning as a result of bioaccumulation, which in turn results from feeding on fish containing mercury.
- vegequarian diet
- pesco-vegetarian diet