Pescetarian diet

Also Known As: Pescetarian diet, Pescetarianism

Pescetarianism (play /ˌpɛskɨˈtɛəriən/) (also spelled Pescatarian) is the practice of a diet that includes seafood but not the flesh of other animals. A pescetarian diet shares many of its components with a vegetarian diet and includes vegetables, fruit, nuts, grains, beans, eggs, and dairy, but unlike a vegetarian diet also includes fish and shellfish. The Merriam-Webster dictionary dates the origin of the term "pescetarian" to 1993 and defines it to mean: "one whose diet includes fish but no meat".[1]

One of the most commonly cited reasons is that of health, based on findings that red meat is detrimental to health in many cases due to non-lean red meats containing high amounts of saturated fats.[2][3] Eating certain kinds of fish raises HDL levels,[4][5] and some fish are a convenient source of omega-3 fatty acids,[6] and have numerous health benefits in one food variety.[7] A 1999 meta-study of five studies comparing vegetarian and non-vegetarian mortality rates in Western countries found that in comparison with regular meat eaters, mortality from ischemic heart disease was 34% lower in pescetarians, 34% lower in vegetarians, 26% lower in vegans and 20% lower in occasional meat eaters.[8]

On the other hand, there have been concerns cited about consuming large quantities of some fish varieties due to their containing toxins such as mercury and PCBs,[9] though it is possible to select fish that contain little or no mercury and moderate the consumption of mercury-containing fish.[10][11]

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