If you’re a vegetarian, but feel held-down by the monotony of veggies and grains, why not consider the pescatarian diet? It’s similar to the vegetarian diet, but it allows you to eat fish and other seafood.
But that doesn’t mean fish has to be the center of every meal. Let’s take a look at how you can create some variation as a pescatarian.
Variety from fruits and vegetables
One great advantage of being a vegetarian is that you are much more motivated to explore new alternatives. But living on a diet of kale, spinach, apples, oranges, and bananas is bound to get tiresome and dull after a few weeks. If you’re thinking about switching to the pescatarian diet, make sure that you already have a good foundation. Try new fruits and vegetables that are in season and learn how to cook them. When you’re traveling, especially to tropical places, check out the local markets for exotic fruits and vegetables that you might not otherwise be able to eat.
Fish and seafood for protein
One of the biggest hoaxes about vegetarianism is that it will certainly cause a protein deficiency. But don’t let the naysayers scare you. Anyone who isn’t starving isn’t protein deficient. In fact, protein deficiency has a name, it’s called Kwashiorkor. Usually, children have this condition because they’re malnourished and living in areas of the world where resources are hard to come by. Short of being stranded on a deserted island, you’re unlikely to become protein deficient!
Having said that, if you’re working out and exercising a lot, adding some seafood into your diet isn’t a bad idea just to give you a boost in calories. Fatty fish contain brain-healthy omega 3 fatty acids and seafood has minerals and vitamins such as calcium, Vitamin B, zinc, and iodine, that aren’t commonly found in plants.
Seafood comes in all shapes and sizes
There’s no reason to choose one kind of fish and stick with it. Like any healthy dieters, pescatarians need variety. If you’re in Louisiana, get some oysters. Visiting Maine? Then, try the lobster. And if you find yourself in Sweden, try the Surströmming (carefully). Regional seafood is a great way to change up your eating routine and learn about the local culture!
Should I be worried about mercury?
The general rule of eating seafood is to avoid eating large quantities of organisms at the top of the food chain. Things like swordfish, King mackerel, and tuna have high levels of mercury. Smaller fish such as salmon, herring, anchovies, and trout have less mercury. But there are also oysters, mussels, clams, sea cucumbers, sea urchins, and a whole host of other animals from the sea at your disposal.
Remember that the key to a healthy lifestyle isn’t a magic bullet food, it’s everything in moderation. Your pescatarian diet can also include nuts, grains, seeds, and legumes along with seafood! Don’t define yourself by one specific food or food group. Enjoy the vast diversity of foods at your disposal!