Benefits of being a pescatarian vary from a healthy heart to assisting in burning fat. Also, the omega-3 acids that we get through a pescatarian diet display anti-inflammatory properties, which can help reduce joint inflammation.
When following a pescatarian diet, make sure you have no more than 12 ounces of low mercury fish every week.
A pescatarian diet focuses on eating fish, along with a variety of vegetables. It is essentially a vegan diet, plus seafood. The diet excludes all meat products, including poultry and red meat. Turning pescatarian from a vegetarian is always beneficial, as a vegan diet lacks vitamin B12, which one can get from fish. However, are there any other advantages of becoming a pescatarian? Plenty! Here are all the benefits of turning into a pescatarian.
Low in Saturated Fats
With meat cut off from the diet, you don’t have to worry about sources of unhealthy fats that carry cardiovascular risks with them. To put it simply, this type of diet is very low in saturated fats, as it does not contain pork, beef, lamb, and poultry foods. All these meat products contain too much of saturated fats, which can be detrimental to health, particularly to the heart. Saturated fats increase the triglyceride levels in the blood, a potential risk factor for artery-clogging. So, following a diet that is essentially low in saturated fats can certainly help one stay healthy.
One of the most important benefits of this diet is that it provides ample amounts of omega-3s, healthy fats that slash LDL (bad) cholesterol and help maintain good cholesterol, in turn reducing the risk of heart diseases. That is why regular consumption of fish is considered to be good for the heart.
Provides an Anti-inflammatory Effect
Omega-3s act as a natural anti-inflammatory agent, which works to alleviate inflammation in the entire body. In fact, omega-3s could be a natural substitute for over-the-counter NSAIDs like ibuprofen. So, the pescatarian diet that essentially provides an anti-inflammatory effect can also help treat and even prevent joint inflammation associated with chronic ailments like rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.
Assists in Weight Loss
A pescatarian diet that is high in omega-3s can also assist in an endeavor to lose weight. As we know, insulin spikes cause an increase in fat storage. Omega-3s lowers insulin levels, crucial for burning those fat reserves. So, getting adequate omega-3s allows the body to easily access fat stores for energy. Thus, more fat is used everyday, which works to lose extra pounds.
Healthy Source of Proteins
Although red meat such as beef are good sources of protein, protein intake from sea-food and plant-based sources is a better choice from a health standpoint. Red meat consumption has been linked to an increased risk of mortality from cancer and other diseases. So, replacing red meat with healthy sources of protein such as seafood and plant-based food would obviously be a sensible decision.
Improves Insulin Resistance
This diet also benefits in regulating blood sugar levels. High intake of omega-3s has shown to make the cells more sensitive to actions of insulin. This effect of reducing insulin resistance can help achieve better control over blood sugar levels, which is particularly beneficial for diabetic patients.
As fish is the primary constituent of a pescatarian diet, following it regularly may increase health risks associated with excessive mercury exposure. Mercury, a highly toxic organic compound, is present in fish due to pollution of water bodies. This compound can negatively affect the brain and the nervous system, and cause symptoms like infertility, high blood pressure, memory loss, vision problems, and tremors.
The risk of mercury poisoning always exists when eating fish that contain high amounts of mercury. As such, avoid eating swordfish, shark, king mackerel, tuna, and tilefish. Instead, go for salmon, sardines, scallops, trout, shrimp, and tilapia, as they contain the lowest levels of mercury.
On the whole, following a pescatarian diet is healthy, provided you have fish in moderation. Keep in mind that vegetables are also an integral part of this diet. So just don’t stick to eating fish, and include a variety of vegetables and fruits into your diet.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.