When it comes to cutting back on meat there are three popular diet patterns: vegan, vegetarian, and pescatarian diets.
These eating styles have gained popularity for various reasons, including their potential health and environmental benefits.
At Gorse Hill our talented chefs create delicious dishes tailored to these specific diets on the daily, so we decided to dive deeper into each of them.
In this article we'll explore the similarities, differences and benefits of vegetarian, vegan, and pescatarian diets. We hope you enjoy the read!
Vegan, Vegetarian & Pescatarian Diets Explained
All three diets share a common goal of reducing or avoiding meat intake, but they each have distinctive characteristics that set them apart.
In the pescatarian diet all meat and poultry including beef, pork, chicken, and turkey, are excluded. However, seafood and animal products like dairy and eggs are still included.
The vegetarian diet eliminates all meat, fish, and poultry. While dairy foods and eggs can still be consumed some people choose to limit these products.
The vegan diet is the most restrictive of the three. Vegans avoid not just meat, poultry, and fish but also any foods made from animals. Some vegans also avoid products made by or from insects and animals. Some examples include honey, leather, silk and wool.
Similarities between Vegan, Vegetarian & Pescatarian Diets
Pescatarian, vegetarian, and vegan diets have one thing in common being they all exclude red meat and poultry. All three diets focus on healthy plant foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes, which are rich in nutrients.
This makes plant-based diets linked to various health benefits such as aiding weight management and reportedly guarding against chronic diseases like heart disease.
Additionally, these diet plans are more environmentally friendly and sustainable compared to diets that include meat.
According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report reducing meat consumption is considered one of the most meaningful changes individuals can make to curb greenhouse gas emissions, help mitigate deforestation, and decrease the risk of pandemic-causing diseases passing from animals to humans.
Differences between Vegan, Vegetarian & Pescatarian Diets
Compared to vegan and vegetarian diets, pescatarian diets are much simpler and more flexible. They only exclude red meat and poultry while allowing other animal products like fish, eggs, and dairy.
This flexibility makes it easier for individuals to meet their nutritional requirements. Seafood provides essential vitamins and minearls such as omega-3 fatty acids which may be lacking in plant-based foods.
The vegetarian diet is different from the pescatarian diet because it excludes fish consumption and vegan diets are even more restrictive as it eliminates all animal products.
Both vegan and vegetarian diets need careful planning to ensure all nutritional needs are met.
Vegan and Vegetarian Health Benefits
Aid Weight loss
Switching to a vegan or vegetarian diet isn't a magical solution for instant weight loss. However, if followed properly it can lead to healthy and sustainable weight loss unlike quick fad diets.
Protection Against Diseases & Illnesses
According to the National Institutes of Heath (NDPH) research there is compelling evidence that vegetarian and vegan diets offer protection against certain diseases such as coronary heart disease.
A plant-based diet may also help prevent certain types of cancers. The World Health Organisation states that about one-third of all cancers can be prevented through controllable factors, including diet.
In conclusion both vegetarian and vegan diets can be regarded as healthy eating choices. However, a vegan diet, if not well planned may lead to nutrient deficiencies.
Each diet choice has its pros and cons so it’s advisable to carefully consider or consult a nutritionist before making a decision.
Pescatarian Health Benefits
Vegan and vegetarian diets often have lower levels of essential nutrients like Vitamin B12. The pescatarian diet usually offers a more balanced and nutrient-rich option.
Rich In Omega-3 Fatty Acid
Omega-3 fatty acids are known for providing numerous health benefits, including supporting normal heart function.
Protection Against Diseases & Illnesses
According to research following a pescatarian diet might reduce the changes of people getting colorectal and prostate cancers and lower the risk of developing other serious illnesses.
In summary a pescatarian diet can be healthy. However, it's important to avoid fish with high mercury levels and opt for fresh fish from sustainable sources whenever possible.
Before deciding on this diet it's crucial to carefully think about or seek guidance from a healthcare professional.
How does eating less meat help climate change?
According to UN experts transitioning to a plant-based diet can aid in the fight against climate change. A significant report on land use and climate change highlights that the high meat and dairy consumption in the West contributes to global warming.
While scientists and officials refrain from explicitly advocating for everyone to become vegan or vegetarian, they suggest that reducing meat consumption could enable more people to be fed with less land.
And not only does it help combat climate change but opting for a more plant-based diet helps soil, air, and water pollution, ocean dead zones, and various other issues caused by industrial livestock production.
Here are some ways to reduce meat consumption:
- Commit to eating fewer meat and dairy meals each week and let five friends know about your decision to explore alternative protein sources.
- Incorporate more fresh fruits and vegetables into your diet.
- Whenever possible opt for sustainable or organic fresh produce when shopping.
Vegan, Vegetarian or Pescatarian? | Which one should you choose?
The diet you should choose depends on various factors such as your health goals, needs, and preferences.
For instance, vegan diets may show promise for weight loss and reducing environmental impact but they can be restrictive, challenging to follow, and may cause you to lack some nutrients without careful planning.
Whereas vegetarian diets offer similar benefits in terms of the environment, ethics, and health, but with more flexibility.
Pescatarian diets make it easier to get valuable nutrients from seafood, like vitamin B12 and omega-3 fatty acids, while still avoiding red meat and poultry intake.
Alternatively, there's the option of following a flexitarian diet which allows more flexibility in reducing meat intake and incorporating more plant-based foods without fully eliminating any ingredients.
We hope you enjoyed our article about Vegan, Vegetarian & Pescatarian diets.
Before choosing any of these diets it's important to remember that a varied diet is essential to get all the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients needed for good health.
Also, it's a good idea to consult a healthcare professional before making any diet changes.
For more great reads visit our Blog page. And if you're looking for delicious food that fits these diets, come and dine with us at Gorse Hill in Surrey.
Frequently Asked Questions Related To: Vegan, Vegetarian & Pescatarian
Q: What are the 4 types of vegans?
A: There are four primary types of vegans: ethical vegans, environmental vegans, health vegans, and religious vegans.
Q: What is flexitarian vs pescetarian?
A: Pescatarians eat only fish as their meat and also include eggs and dairy in their diet. On the other hand, Flexitarians mainly consume plant-based foods but occasionally include small portions of meat in their diet.
Q: Can a pescatarian be vegan?
A: A pescatarian diet is not the same as a vegan diet. While it is more similar to a meat-eater's diet, there are still some important distinctions. Vegans avoid fish, dairy, and other animal by-products whereas pescatarians consume fish and dairy products.
Q: What do you call a vegan who eats fish?
A: A pescatarian is someone who excludes red meat and poultry from their diet but includes fish. A vegan avoids all types of meat and animal products, including fish.
Q: What do you call an almost vegan?
A: A flexitarian diet, also known as a semi-vegetarian diet, mainly revolves around plant-based foods while occasionally incorporating meat in limited amounts. For instance, a flexitarian may choose to consume meat only on certain days each week.
Q: Can you be semi-vegetarian?
A: A semi-vegetarian diet is primarily plant-based but allows occasional consumption of meat or fish.