One of the many ways to lead a healthy lifestyle is to focus on your diet and nutrition. And numerous options are ranging from a plant-based diet to meat-based diets and a mixture of them, which have been found highly effective in maintaining good health. Many plant-based diets have been known to prevent diabetes and diseases like cancer. There are numerous options to chose from a plant-based diet with the most common being veganism, vegetarianism, while many options are available in the meat-based diets there is also a diet that lies in between plant and animal products namely- pescatarian diet. However, in this article, we will focus just on vegetarian and pescatarian diets and compare them to find out which one is the best among them.
Vegetarian Diet Overview
A vegetarian diet is any diet exclusive of meat products including poultry. A vegetarian diet might including dairy products like cheese or butter or milk. Many vegetarians also tend to include eggs in their diet and are known as ovo-vegetarians. Those who consume both eggs and dairy products are called Lacto-ovo vegetarians. A well-balanced vegetarian diet features plants, whole grains including rice, beans, and legumes. Vegetarians consume a lot less amount of saturated fats and high cholesterol foods in comparison to meat-eaters, and rather have a high intake of magnesium, potassium, and fiber. Thus, a vegetarian diet is known to improve your blood pressure and cholesterol levels with an improved digestive system. Vegetarians tend to stay away from all kinds of meat like red meat or fish due to health issues or environmental ethics.
Pescatarian Diet Overview
Pescatarian diet is almost like a vegetarian diet and excludes meat and poultry however includes fish and other seafood like shrimp, salmon, or lobster. Like the vegetarian diet, it also includes milk, vegetables and fruits, nuts, and whole grains like rice and legumes. Pescatarian diet is sometimes therefore also referred to as pesco-vegetarian diet or partial vegetarian diet. However, the pescatarian diet cannot be classified under vegetarianism. This diet is thus a major source of omega-3 fatty acids than vegetarianism due to the inclusion of fish oil and fish products.
Although there are no such major risks associated with both the diets, however, due to complete abandonment of meat products pure vegetarians might suffer from protein deficiency which they need to make up with the consumption of dairy products like Lacto-ovo vegetarians. The risks of a pescatarian diet revolve around the consumption of fish itself. Although fishes are highly nutritious and a rich source of protein and omega-3 however there is a high risk of mercury toxicity associated with it more recently. Therefore it is often recommended to not include fish in your diet daily.
Both diets have individual benefits and risks associated with them. It basically depends on the foods chose to consume and covering the requirements of essential nutrients of the body. Many people tend to prefer pescatarian over vegetarian due to the additional benefit of omega-3 fatty acids, while many tend to lean towards vegetarianism simply due to moral and environmental concerns since the animal industry plays a major role in the environmental change. It is a complete myth that a vegetarian diet devoid of certain nutrients since many alternatives are now available. Therefore both diets save you from consuming any type of junk food and help in leading a healthy lifestyle.