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Pescetarianism (from Italian pesce "fish") is a way of eating in which the consumption of meat , but not fish , is avoided. In general, eggs and milk are also eaten, as well as crustaceans and molluscs .

Concept and concept history

Pescetarianism is sometimes referred to as a variant of vegetarianism , in which fish is consumed in addition to plants and often eggs and milk ( ovo-lacto-vegetarianism ). However, most definitions of the word “vegetarianism” clearly show that pescetarianism should be viewed as a separate diet. The British Vegetarian Society , which has existed since 1847, stipulates, for example, that the consumption of fish, shellfish and crustaceans is not compatible with a vegetarian diet.

The word "pescetarianism" is a neologism that first appeared in 1993 according to Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary . It comes from the Latin piscis for "fish" or from the Italian pesce with the same meaning.

The demarcation to flexitarianism consists in the type of restriction of the menu: Flexitarians eat “as little as possible, only rarely or only certain qualities of meat”, whereas the menu of pescetarians includes “plant-based foods, plus fish and seafood ”. This does not make a statement about the frequency or other criteria, but empirical findings show that ethical motives play a role in the choice of the pescetarian (as well as the flexitarian) diet.

Health aspects

Compared to a purely vegetarian diet, the additional consumption of fish provides the body with proteins, omega-3 fatty acids and amino acids , whose vegetable counterparts are more difficult to process or of lower quality. The pollution of edible fish with environmental toxins, such as methyl mercury compounds, has a disadvantage compared to a vegetarian diet .

As part of a six-year study of 73,000 people published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 2013 , researchers from Loma Linda University in California examined the effects of different diets. During the duration of the study, the death rate of pescetarians among the participants was 19% below that of meat eaters, while the death rate of vegetarians was only 12% below that of meat eaters. Study leader Michael J. Orlich pointed out that the figures obtained were too close to each other for a generally valid comparison of vegetarian diets. The colorectal cancer risk was according to the study data at pescetarischer diet compared to the risk associated with other forms of vegetarianism significantly lower.

Individual evidence

  1. Happy eggs are hard to find., accessed on August 18, 2016 .
  2. a b Moderate Vegetarians - Ovo, Lacto, Pesco or Pudding?, accessed on August 17, 2016 .
  3. cf. Definition of " vegetarianism " in Wikipedia in the introduction and in the entire article.
  4. ^ The rise of the non-veggie vegetarian., accessed August 18, 2016 .
  5. Pescetarian . Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary. Retrieved December 18, 2017.
  6. a b Flexitarians - the flexible vegetarians., accessed on December 5, 2019 .
  7. Pescetarians - no meat, but fish., accessed on December 18, 2017 .
  8. Want to Live Longer? Eat a plant-based diet., accessed August 17, 2016 .
  9. Colon Cancer Prevention: Study Sees Benefits for Pescetarians., accessed on August 17, 2016 .