The food you choose to eat (or not eat) is an important diet decision that can be based on a variety of factors, from moral and ethical issues to weight loss and a lifestyle choice in hopes of preventing diseases. One popular diet consists of fish and vegetables, and is referred to as pescatarianism. While this can be a healthy choice, it also requires detailed attention to ensure your diet is well-balanced.
Pescatarians might choose to eat only fish and vegetables because of the moral, ethical and/or environmental issues regarding cattle and chicken farms. Others might have been unhealthy vegetarians who needed more protein in their diet, so opted to incorporate fish. Many others choose the pescatarian lifestyle as a temporary transition phase toward becoming a vegetarian.
Fish always have been known as a "brain food" and an excellent source of lean protein. Reuter's Health published a study in "Acta Pediatrica" that concluded that male adolescents age 15 to 18 who ate fish more than once a week scored higher on standard intelligent tests than those who did not eat fish. This study adds evidence to others that have concluded the impact of fish on brain function. The American Heart Association also states that fish is a good source of omega-3 fatty acid, which is known to decrease arrhythmia, triglyceride levels and blood pressure. Additionally, it recommends eating a wide variety of vegetables every day.
Fish and vegetables are both main choices for people interested in weight loss. These foods can be high in nutrients but low in calories, if prepared correctly. For example, half a fillet of wild Atlantic salmon has approximately 280 calories and many raw vegetables have fewer than 50 calories. Ideally, these foods should be eaten steamed, broiled, baked or raw.
The fish and vegetables diet is sometimes called the "Mediterranean Diet" because it resembles the healthy cuisine eaten in Greece and Italy. The diet includes fresh fruits, legumes, nuts and seeds; eggs; wine (low to moderate consumption); and most importantly, olive oil. The combination of these fresh ingredients has made the diet popular not only for its health benefits but also for its delicious taste.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) states that all fish contains a certain trace amount of mercury, but for most people the risk of mercury poisoning is low. It is still important to monitor how much and what kinds of fish you eat. Larger fish accumulate more mercury and the EPA advises against eating shark, swordfish, king mackerel and tilefish.