The Pescatarian Diet Plan
Pescetarianism is the term that describes a diet plan which is based on seafood and fish, but excludes meat from all other animals. The majority of pescatarians follow the typical Lacto-Ovo vegetarian plan, with the inclusion of fish (both dark and white) and shellfish (like mussels, shrimp, lobster and crab, among others).
A common question I get a lot is “how do pescetarianism and vegetarianism differ?”
The Pescatarian Diet Plan: A diet plan that leaves animals and birds outside, but allows shellfish and fish in addition to vegetables, fruits, plants, and grains.
Dairy and eggs can be consumed on an individual basis. In my own experience, I see that most people who follow pescetarianism include dairy in their diet plan. As I said, this is decided based on personal preference and is largely influenced by the individual’s belief system as well.
Pescatarians typically consume seafood by excluding all other types of meat (e.g., beef, pork, chicken) from their diet. Pescetarianism resembles vegetarianism, but their main difference is the addition of shellfish (like lobster, crab, clams, mussels, etc.) and fish to a diet which is mostly vegetarian. Pescatarians are not recognized as real vegetarians by The Vegetarian Society and similar organizations.
Pescatarians think that their diet plan has health benefits (more on that later on) and also prevents animal harm and protects the environment, by excluding all meat except fish and seafood. Pescatarians don’t consume meat from land animals, such as pork, beef or chicken.
"Being a Pescatarian is a lifestyle choice. The elimination of land animal proteins is a choice for many reasons and many benefits. The choices I am able to make are easy now with the nutritional guidance I need in order to continue to lose weight but also find things that fit within my Pesceterian diet!"
- Nancy H.
Other foods that Pescatarians eat
Pescetarianism relies heavily on vegetables and fruits. It includes all types of vegetables, fruits, legumes, whole grains, beans, and also seeds and nuts. Also, don’t underestimate the importance of protein in any diet plan.
How important is protein?
When clients are in the process of deciding on a particular type of diet, they most commonly ask me this: “are high protein/ low carb diets better?” It’s really easy to see why this is happening, with all the opinion and conflicting information circulating out there. So, it is important to stick to the facts. The recommended amount of protein you should be taking ranges between 10 to 30% of your daily caloric intake.
The DRI (Dietary Reference Intake) is 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight, which equals to 0.36 grams per pound.
This means approximately:
- 56 grams daily for the average sedentary man.
- 46 grams daily for the average sedentary woman.
Protein is used in your body both to repair damaged cells and create new ones.
Proteins are macromolecules, meaning that they are chains made up of individual amino acids. Amino acids can belong to one of two categories: essential and nonessential. Our body cannot synthesize essential amino acids, so we have to ingest them with our food. Conversely, nonessential amino acids can be produced from essential amino acids so, although they are equally important, they are not so much of a concern.
Proteins that contain all of the essential amino acids are called “complete.” Fish and all other animal products (red meat, poultry, dairy, eggs, etc.) contain complete proteins and are essential in preventing protein deficiency.
Sources of Protein in a Typical Pescatarian Diet Plan
- Seitan – 20 grams in a serving.
- Soybeans – 17 grams of protein in a serving.
- Lentils – 14 grams of protein in a serving.
- Seeds and Nuts – 5 to 10 grams of protein in a serving.
- Tofu – 9 grams of protein in a serving.
- Beans (black beans and kidney beans are awesome) – 6 to 9 grams in a serving.
- Quinoa – 8 grams of protein in a serving.
Pescatarian Diet Plan - Seafood
Fish and seafood contain large amounts of protein, helping the pescatarian to achieve their daily protein goals. The various fish and seafood species have different amounts of protein. However, it’s best to opt for the fatty kinds that are also rich in heart-healthy Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids.
Protein supplements are another good way that Pescatarians can take advantage of to ingest adequate amounts of protein during the day. There are several different types of protein powder. Soy-based or whey-based protein supplements are popular among Pescatarians.
The majority know the two main proteins in milk, whey and casein, but there are also some plant-based options like hemp protein, soy protein, pea protein, and even protein from rice. Although these plant-based proteins lack the popularity of their milk-derived counterparts, they are crucial to some vegans and vegetarians.
Contrary to what many people believe, plant-derived proteins also contain essential amino acids, but in fewer amounts than the proteins contained in animals and animal products, such as meat, eggs and dairy.
The Place of Dairy and Eggs in a Pescatarian Diet Plan
Although not all pescatarians eat them, eggs and dairy are irreplaceable elements in the daily diet plan of many pescatarians. Eggs are a prime source of protein, and so are fish; here is a great pescatarian recipe with eggs that I got from a Pescatarian client!
Veggie Breakfast Tacos
Easy, healthy vegetarian breakfast taco, filled with yummy freshness!
Although they are called “breakfast,” you can have them whenever you like. I like my eggs scrambled, but you can also fry them if you like it better. The recipe is enough for six tacos more or less, although it depends on how much you fill each one.
|Veggie Filling:||Egg Filling:|
|One small yellow or white onion, diced||Six eggs, scrambled|
|Two teaspoons olive oil||Salt and black pepper, freshly ground|
|Three garlic cloves, minced or pressed||Hot sauce|
|One small yellow squash, sliced into thin strips, 2 inches long,||One tomato or a few cherry tomatoes|
|One small zucchini, sliced into thin strips, 2 inches long,||Six small tortillas, flour or corn|
|½ lime, juiced||One jalapeño, seeded, minced after removing the membranes|
|One red pepper, seeded, chopped after removing the membranes||Feta cheese, crumbled|
|Salt||Cilantro, fresh, chopped|
|Pinch red pepper flakes||1 Tbs. Fat sour cream|
|Salsa or salsa verde|
For the veggie filling: In a large pan over medium fire, heat two teaspoons of olive oil until glimmering. Add the onions and a little salt. Cook for about 5 minutes, with an occasional stir, until the onions are softened and turning clear. Add the garlic along with a dash of red pepper flakes, stir, and cook for another half a minute. Add the yellow squash, zucchini, and bell pepper. Cook for about 7 minutes, often stirring, until the squash is softened and cooked through but not mushy. Take the pan off the heat and sprinkle the veggies with the juice of half a lime. Add salt to taste, mixing it at the same time, then leave the pan to the side and go for the eggs.
For the scrambled eggs: Scramble the eggs in a bowl with a little hot sauce, a pinch of black pepper and another pinch of salt. Scramble over a medium-low fire until the eggs are lightly done. Add the tomatoes and relocate the mixture to a bowl.
Making the tacos: Warm the corn or flour tortillas in a pan over medium fire, and flip them occasionally. After warming, transfer the tortillas to a plate and cover them with a tea towel to prevent them from getting cold. Top the tortillas with scrambled eggs, then with veggies, and finish with a sprinkle of jalapeño, cilantro, and feta. In the end, add dashes of your preferred hot sauce or salsa.
Pescatarian daily diet plan example - 1200 Calories Meal Plan
Breakfast - Eggs and Oatmeal - 254 calories
One serving oatmeal, high fiber
Two hardboiled egg whites
One cup or piece of fruit
Lunch - Tuna Sandwich - 350 calories OR
4 oz. grilled salmon with two cups of garden vegetables
Two slices 100% light whole-wheat bread
Tuna fish (4 oz.)
One tablespoon mayonnaise light
Half a cup of baby carrots
Light string cheese
Snack- Protein shake with 1 cup fruit
Quarter of a cup hummus (chickpeas) with 2 cups raw vegetables
Dinner - Tofu or 4 oz. Fish or shellfish and Broccoli with Pasta - 435 calories
Tofu and Broccoli
1/2 cup broccoli and 3 oz. firm tofu
1 cup whole-wheat pasta
Two tablespoons light balsamic
Dessert - No Sugar Added Fudgsicle
As it is possible for Americans to maintain a healthy diet which includes meat from land animals, conversely, Pescatarians can eat unhealthily if they consume crackers, ice cream, chips, fried fish and cheese on a daily basis. However, the majority of Pescatarians typically ingest less cholesterol and less total and saturated fat than regular meat eaters.
Considering a Pescatarian Diet Plan?
If you're considering a transition to a pescetarianism daily diet plan, I can assist you in determining what to eat as you exclude poultry and meat from your options. I have successfully helped others lose weight while maintaining this new lifestyle.
Many of my current clients are either on a pescatarian or vegetarian diet plan and it is a privilege to help them navigate on their weight loss endeavor while adhering to the guidelines of their individual food preferences!
Call me today to help with your pescatarian diet plan!