Looking for a healthy, flexible diet that tastes great and makes you feel even better? Try a pescatarian diet. Pescatarian diets have all the nutritional benefits of becoming a vegetarian while still letting you consume a meaty-tasting protein. Enjoy all the best flavors seafood has to offer while improving your heart health and lifestyle.
If you’re interested in becoming a pescatarian, we’ve got you covered. In this article, we’ll look at the benefits of pescatarian diets and what you should look for when building a seafood diet plan. Enjoy all the fruits of the sea with delicious, healthy pescatarian living.
What Is a Pescatarian?
A pescatarian is a person who follows a pescatarian diet. The pescatarian diet is similar to the vegetarian diet — it emphasizes eating vegetables and whole foods over meats. The crucial part of a pescatarian diet is eating seafood for the primary protein instead of land animal protein. A pescatarian doesn’t eat red meat or poultry but does eat fish and seafood. Some pescatarians might eat eggs and dairy, while others won’t — it’s a matter of preference.
Being a pescatarian doesn’t mean you have to eat fish with every meal — the main focus is cutting out land animal meats and prioritizing healthier, whole foods and a plant-based diet. It’s similar to the Mediterranean diet, incorporating healthy vegetables and fats into your meals for heart-healthy eating. Pescatarians substitute fish for land animal meats in their diet and try to eat plant-based most of the time.
Benefits of Pescatarian Diets
Many people switch to a seafood diet plan for the health benefits. Replacing land animal meat with seafood and incorporating more vegetables into your diet have many benefits that can improve your quality of life and help prevent disease.
Fish and seafood are rich in essential omega-3 fatty acids, which can help reduce the risks of cardiovascular disease and help lower cholesterol levels. Incorporating marine life into your diet can also be healthier than a plant-only diet since essential vitamins like B-12 are only found in animal products like poultry, eggs, dairy, red meat and fish. B-12 helps us maintain regular brain function and develop red blood cells, so getting enough of this vitamin is essential for healthy living.
Along with providing essential nutrients, a pescatarian diet can lower your risk of diabetes and obesity. Pescatarians also have an easier time maintaining iron levels than vegetarians and vegans. Heme iron, found in animals and fish, is easier for the body to absorb than iron from plants. Getting heme iron from seafood instead of relying solely on plants for your iron reduces your chances of being iron deficient.
Potential Disadvantages of Pescatarian Diets
The primary health disadvantages of pescatarian diets are the potential for undercooking fish and eating unhealthy fish. Many people find cooking fish intimidating and can undercook or overcook their seafood. This can lead to food-related sickness or dry, flavorless fish. Fortunately, these problems are easy to avoid. Investing a small amount of time into learning easy methods for cooking fish — like baking or sautéing — will help you become more confident in the kitchen.
When switching to a pescatarian diet, people can fall into the trap of consuming too much fried fish. While fried fish might taste great, it’s not the healthiest option. Avoid fried and processed foods — eat baked, poached, grilled, sautéed, steamed and broiled fish and lots of vegetables, fruits and whole grains for a healthier diet.
What Fish Should You Eat on a Pescatarian Diet?
Like any diet, whole foods and nutrient-dense options are always better for you than processed foods. The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends two servings of fatty fish per week to get plenty of those heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Some delicious fatty fish you can add to your diet include:
- Bluefin tuna
- Striped bass
- Black cod
Incorporating fish protein into your meal plan will help you feel happier and healthier. While the above fish contain the highest amounts of healthy fats, getting any seafood protein in your body is good for you. Eating a variety of fish will keep your meals exciting and maintain your heart while getting the vital nutrients you need.
Pescatarian Foods to Eat
The key to a good pescatarian meal prep is basing your meals around plant products. If you’re going to eat eggs and dairy, these are excellent sources of fat and protein. Organize your meals around whole, healthy foods and ensure you get lots of nutrients with every dish. Focus on legumes, fruits, vegetables, seeds and nuts, with seafood in at least two meals a week. Always have good proteins, fats and carbs with your meals.
Some great, healthy dishes you can try include:
- Salmon with broccoli and rice
- Black bean and corn salads
- Oatmeal with peanut butter and apples
- Roasted halibut with green beans and red potatoes
- Veggies and hummus
- Tuna salad
- Shrimp with angel hair pasta and red peppers
- Coconut fish curry
Play around with different combinations of vegetables, seasonings and seafood. Salads are exceptionally versatile — mix your greens, veggies and dressing with some grilled salmon or tuna salad on top for a hearty, delicious meal. Eating pescatarian meals doesn’t limit you to only one style of cuisine — most cultures have vibrant and exciting fish recipes that inspire you to eat more seafood.
While enjoying a pescatarian diet, avoid land animal meats, including:
- Deli meat
These proteins aren’t seafood, and eating red meat regularly can increase your chances of heart disease. Choose seafood and vegetables for improved health and enjoy a nutrient-packed diet regularly for a better life.
Following a seafood meal plan doesn’t end when you go out to eat — try out seafood restaurants for mouthwatering dishes without sacrificing the health benefits of fish. Being pescatarian doesn’t mean you have to eat plain, bland food. Enjoy flavorful seafood and experiment with new and exciting flavors at your favorite restaurants.
Try Pescatarian-Friendly Food at USS Nemo
If you’re already a pescatarian or looking to become one, the award-winning seafood at USS Nemo is guaranteed to satisfy your cravings. Enjoy our famous miso-broiled sea bass or sample our mouthwatering blackened tandoori fish. Our wide range of fresh, expertly-crafted seafood dishes will give you a memorable night out and the best food Naples, Florida, has to offer.
Want more than fish? Explore our menu online and discover our meat and vegetarian dishes. After your meal, why not try one of our exquisite desserts? From fresh coconut cream pie to our delightful trinity of profiteroles, you won’t want to leave a drop on your plate. Book your reservation with us now and stop by for an unforgettable underwater dining experience.
We can only seat complete parties for reserved tables. Please be sure your entire party has arrived before checking in with our hostess.
"With its subtle submarine motif and obvious seafood obsession, USS Nemo (239-261-6366) is among the most original restaurants on the Naples dining scene these days, and it has the fan base to prove it."
Chelle Koster Walton
"The miso broiled sea bass with citrus-ginger butter sauce is almost worth a trip to Naples in and of itself."
The New York Times
"I can tell you without hesitation, this is THE BEST and most consistent restaurant in Naples. I can guarantee you will not be disappointed!"
"Most consistently great restaurant in Naples!"
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