Is being a Pescetarian healthy?
Have you ever considered what you’d be called if you only ate fish and vegetables? If you’ve recently chosen a diet of fish and vegetables, or if you’re in the decision process of choosing a fish and vegetable diet, what is it called when you only eat fish and vegetables? Let’s take a look…
What is it called when you only eat fish and vegetables in 10 seconds…
The word pesce-tarian (Also pescatarian or piscetarian) is a combination of the Italian word for fish (pesce) and an abbreviation of vegetarian. Put simply, a pescetarian is someone who eats fish and vegetables and doesn’t eat meat.
What is it called when you only eat fish and vegetables?
You may have already chosen a diet of fish and vegetables or if you’re about to change to this type of healthy diet. If you do have a diet only consisting of fish and vegetables, then you’re called a pescetarian. The name itself was derived back in the 90’s and is a combination of or an amalgamation two words.
- Pesce (Italian for fish) or this is sometimes changed to pesca, with an ‘a’ at the end.
- Tarian, which is the end six letters of the word vegetarian.
- Put these together to form pesce-tarian.
Why become a pescatarian?
Why become a pescetarian you may ask? There are a few reason why this might be the case, which include:
- Some pescetarians choose to eat only fish instead of meat for ethical reasons.
- Some pescetarians believe that fish are not on the same moral or intelligence level as other animals like cows, sheep or pigs.
- Other pescetarians are so because of the health benefits of eating fish instead of meat.
- Certain people who only eat fish and vegetables do so to lose weight.
- Perhaps others may feel that by only eating fish is a good compromise between being a meat eater and a vegetarian.
- Some think that eating fish instead of meat is better for the planet.
- Some even argue that by being a pescetarian you will live longer.
- You may have become a keen aquaponics gardener and grow a combination of fish and vegetables because of its sustainability and self-sufficiency.
Whatever your reason for only eating fish and vegetables, let’s take a look at each of these reasons in a bit more details. Let’s see if there’s truth behind any of these reasons. But first let’s take a look at the pescetarian benefits.
What are the pescetarian benefits?
Within the context of the above eight reasons why people become pescetarians, what are the benefits to only eating fish and vegetables?
What are the environmental and animal welfare benefits of eating fish and vegetables?
Of course there’s the likelihood that whether you’re a pescetarian or not, you’ll probably eat vegetables. Most don’t have a welfare problem with vegetables in the same way as they do with animals.
Many argue that fish don’t have the same level of intelligence as other farm animals. Plus it’s argued that fish don’t actually feel pain.
“Fish do not feel pain and its implications for understanding phenomenal consciousness. While mammals and birds possess the prerequisite neural architecture for phenomenal consciousness, it is concluded that fish lack these essential characteristics and hence do not feel pain.”US National Library of Medicine – Read more about this here.
From an environmental point of view, many argue that farming of animals is bad for the planet. But then others would also argue or question whether fishing is sustainable too.
“The Vegetarian Resource Group reports that one pound of beef requires 2,500 gallons of water, whereas one pound of soy requires only 250 gallons of water and a pound of wheat requires only 25 gallons. If you want to help save our water, cutting meat from your diet one way that you get active.”Huff Post – 5 Reasons to Become a Pescetarian
However, you may be interested to read the section on aquaponics below, which is about growing both fish and vegetables in one sustainable ecosystem.
Do Pescetarians live longer?
A pescatarian diet may be more healthy, just so long as people avoid eating fish with high levels of mercury. With regards to living longer if you eat fish and vegetables, this is an interesting thought.
According to WebMD there’s a study that shows that pescetarians live longer than people who follow a diet that includes red meat and poultry. There are studies to proved that eating less red meat or none at all, reduces your chances of getting heart disease and high blood pressure. Which in turn would lend itself to living longer.
Pescetarian health benefits
On the other side of the reduced chances of getting heart disease from eating red meat, by including two servings per week of fish in your diet may help your heart.
Fish tend to be packed with Omega-3 amino acids. This is especially true of salmon, but especially wild salmon which has 2,600 milligrams of Omega-3 -per 100 grams (3.53 ounces) compared to grass-fed beef which has just 80 milligrams for the same weight of meat.
The health benefits of Omega-3 amino acids include:
- The lessening of plaque build up in the arteries.
- It lowers the odds of getting an irregular heartbeat or arrhythmia.
- Omega-3 amino acids lower your triglyceride levels in your blood which is good for your heart.
- Those who include fish in their diet have fewer fatal heart attacks than those who don’t.
- A pescatarian diet may also protect you against colorectal cancers, or cancers that affect the colon and rectum.
- There’s evidence to suggest that Omega-3 may reduce inflammation. However, the evidence to support this comes from trials of supplements and not eating Omega-3 rich fish.
When you add-in the benefits of the plant-base part of the pescetarian diet, you add to the health benefits.
Health benefits of plant-based diet as a pescetarian include the following benefits:
- A plant-based diet can reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.
- Scientists and dietitians argue that a change in diet to include a plant-based diet reduces the risk of metabolic syndrome. Where metabolic syndrome includes conditions such as insulin resistance, high blood pressure, and obesity.
- Plant-based diets are high in anti-inflammatory and antioxidant agents. These include flavonoids which have a range of anti-inflammatory and antidiabetic properties.
You want to learn about aquaponics to grow fish and vegetables
I couldn’t possibly finish this article without making mention of an aquaponics system. Bearing in mind this blog is dedicated to home DIY aquaponics!
It might be that you’ve already become a keen aquaponics gardener. You may already be growing a combination of fish and vegetables using this great combination ecosystem. An ecosystem which is both sustainable and self-sufficient.
An aquaponics system is the combination of hydroponics plant growing (which involves growing plants in water instead of soil) and growing fish in an aquaculture tank.
The beauty of aquaponics is that the plants get their nutrients from the fish, and then the plants clean the water for the fish. Bacteria in the media bed (i.e. the bed for the plants) convert ammonia from the fish waste into nutrients including nitrates. Nitrates are one of the key nutrients for healthy plant growth and is part of the nitrogen cycle.
Key benefits of an aquaponics system:
- The plants and the fish are both organic.
- You get two harvests from one ecosystem which includes both fish and vegetables. This is ideal for pescetarians, so long as you’re okay killing your fish.
- Plants grow at up to twice the speed of plants grow in the traditional way.
- Aquaponics systems use around 10% of the water that growing plants in soil does, which makes it ideal for places where water is scarce.
- There’s a reduce environmental impact on the planet, for example tilapia fish require a feed ratio on the basis of 1.5:1 to 1.8:1. This compares with beef cattle, which requires 20:1 feed to meat production ratio.
- You can grow more vegetables in less space. In fact up to 10 times the crop in the same space as conventional gardening or farming.
- Rather than the solid waste adding to global warning like it does with cattle and pig farming, the aquaponics process neutralises the fish waste.
This is all well and good you might be saying. But you might be asking how do you go about setting up your own DIY aquaponics system? The quickest and cheapest way to start an aquaponics system is to buy yourself a training course on the subject like this one:
More Reading: Easy DIY Aquaponics review (Includes the features and the Pros & Cons). Review of Easy DIY Aquaponics training program which teaches you how to build your own homemade aquaponics system.
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