I have been a pescetarian for seven years. The word might seem foreign, or even slightly religious, however all it means is that I follow a vegetarian diet while still including fish and seafood with fruits, vegetables, nuts and legumes. Research has shown that following a Mediterranean diet that consists mostly of fish and vegetables is one of the healthiest diets you can follow. There are clear and definite benefits to cutting meat from your diet;
Here are a few:
Lower Risk of Developing Cardiovascular Disease
Most vegetarian or mostly vegetarian diets are high in antioxidants, which have been directly linked to reducing the chance of developing heart disease.
When discussing cholesterol, there are two kinds; the bad kind (LDL) comes from animal fat, and the good kind (HDL) that comes from vegetables. When you cut animal flesh and fat from your diet, there is a direct result of lower cholesterol levels.
Healthy Weight Loss
Vegetables have more fiber and nutrition than animal products, and ingesting them over meat will keep a clearer digestion tract and smaller potion sizes that are more nutritionally filling. This will often result in weight loss within two weeks of cutting out meat from your diet.
Satisfies all Nutritional Needs
It is a myth that vegans or vegetarians suffer from malnutrition, or are always hungry. A well-balanced vegetarian diet has been sanctioned for all ages and stages of life from infants, to athletes, to the elderly.
When forced to think about what you are putting in your body, you are less likely to fall into the trap of eating poorly, which can especially be true while eating out. As a meat eater, it might be easier to order fried chicken fingers with a side of fries, than to scan the menu for a healthy or vegetable alternative. It is also untrue that to be a vegetarian, you somehow have to forgo flavor. From personal experience, I can safely say that since adopting a meat-free diet that I have actually been introduced to more new and exciting foods that are full of rich, savory flavor than if I had not changed my diet. Another myth circulated by avid meat-lovers is that you can’t possibly get enough protein from a vegetarian diet. There is actually more protein present in vegetables, beans, legumes and nuts than in chicken, pork, or steak. When we consume animals that eat plant proteins, we are getting only a portion of protein that they themselves consumed and converted to energy. Once meat is no longer on the menu, you are forced to venture beyond the safety of the known and tread into unfamiliar, but delicious territory. There is far more to vegetables than the over-boiled peas or broccoli that always seems to accompany chicken or steak at the family dinner table. I have never been happier or more well fed since becoming a pescetarian, and I will never go back to meat. It’s greener on the other side!