Seas and greetings 🌊
If you’re reading this right now, you’re one curious sun of a beach ☀️ Okay, okay.. I’ll try to keep the ocean puns to a minimum here but I can’t make any promises. If you’ve been following me on Instagram @milestonesinmedicine then you know that I’ve officially stuck to a diet lifestyle that best suits me. I’ve experimented with a lot of different diets, which I’ll talk about, but FINALLY ~ the pescatarian diet is the one for me🍤 Let’s dive into what it entails, its benefits, set backs, and some evidence based research🧬
What is the pescatarian diet?
To keep it simple, a pescatarian is someone who adds fish/seafood to the vegetarian diet. I tried to pursue the vegetarian lifestyle for a long time, although I do love tofu, I needed another protein source in my diet. Pescatarians DO eat fruits, vegetables, fish, shellfish, and dairy. Pescatarians DO NOT eat beef, chicken, pork, lamb, turkey. There are so many reasons why I’ve completely cut out meat and poultry from my life and it has honestly been a huge game changer in regards to so many things. Growing up as a Chaldean, the Middle Eastern food culture always included meat and chicken. My friends and family who are also Chaldean are very weirded out by my pescatarian lifestyle choice but the facts cannot be argued.
Many of you don’t know this, but I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Disease early last year. Unfortunately, I was told there was no “cure” or treatment, so I decided to dabble into the depths of my nutrition to try and holistically stabilize my symptoms. I’ve been bouncing from endocrinologist to another, and hopefully I’ll be able to share my journey once I see this new physician post travels. Having a chronic illness definitely took a toll on my mental health, and I can’t wait to talk more about it soon.
What are the benefits?
1. Health Benefits –
We all know eating fish provides us with an abundant amount of omega 3 fatty acids. The AHA (American Heart Association) published a paper stating, “A large body of evidence supports the recommendation to consume non-fried seafood, especially species higher in LC n-3 fatty acids, 1 to 2 times per week for cardiovascular benefits, including reduced risk of cardiac death, CHD, and ischemic stroke.” There are so many more studies concluding that pescatarians have a lower risk of developing obesity, diabetes, and heart disease compared to omnivores.
2. Anti – Inflammatory Protein –
Before I changed my diet, I noticed how quickly and often I was to bloat after eating, especially if meat or chicken were involved. Ever heard of the Leaky Gut Theory? “A single meal of meats, eggs, and dairy can cause a spike of inflammation within hours that can stiffen one’s arteries.” Don’t give up on me now, follow along. What’s causing this meat induced inflammation? Humans have evolved to become very sensitive to the accumulation of endotoxins within our bloodstream. These endotoxins are coming from bacteria in the gut, due to animal fat allowing our own bacteria to slip into our bloodstream – thus causing inflammation every time we eat animal products.
3. Environmentally Friendly –
I’m sure we can all agree that factory farming practices are vulgar. Raising livestock comes with a high environmental cost. I’ve read some articles stating that some scientists argue, fish cannot feel pain. Apparently, they lack the neural network that’s involved with pain. A 2014 study calculated that diets of fish eaters caused 46% less greenhouse gas emissions than the diets of people who ate at least one serving of meat a day.
4. Humans: Carnivores or Herbivores? –
If you haven’t already, check out “What The Health” on Netflix. Although a bit exaggerated for my taste, it talks a little bit about this topic. Natural carnivores have claws and pointed front teeth to tear through raw flesh and meat. Carnivores perspire through their tongue while plant and fish eats perspire through their skin based on where their pores are located. Carnivores have a shorter intestinal system so that decaying carcasses can pass through their system much quicker. Herbivores and omnivores have a much longer intestinal tract, because a mostly-plant based diet doesn’t include foods that take a long time to decay. Your intestine tract is about 30 feet long. What does that tell you?
Like all diets, it is flawed and has its draw backs. It’s imperative to include plant based sources of iron due to the lack of iron being consumed from meat. Different sized fish have varying amounts of mercury which can be toxic. Study says, “Some studies have shown that the benefits of eating fish outweigh the risks related to mercury, I think dietitians can educate consumers to eat lower on the food chain when it comes to fish.” This lifestyle can get expensive depending on what you purchase. I think of it as paying for quality, and buying in bulk really doesn’t break the bank. Personal things I’ve noticed for my body since I’ve made the switch include weight loss, less bloating, healthier skin, hair, and nails.
If you’ve dabbled in different lifestyles, send me a DM! I am adjusting accordingly and will update everyone along this journey. Let me know what works for you and what hasn’t. If you enjoyed reading this article based off of my own opinions and research, share it on your social media and tag me @milestonesinmedicine 🥰
With love always,
Christina x Milestones In Medicine