Pescetarian diet: knowing the profile of this sustainable consumer

In this article, we delve into this new, more sustainable consumer profile, exploring the advantages and disadvantages of the pescetarian diet and examining its actual consumption data.

In the quest for diets that combine taste, health, and sustainability, the pescetarian diet emerges as an option that blends plant and animal products. 

Opting for a diet excluding land animal meat but permitting the inclusion of fish and seafood, practitioners of this approach seek to leverage the nutritional benefits of seafood while exploring a more ethical and ecologically sustainable option.

 In this article, we delve into this new, more sustainable consumer profile, exploring the advantages and disadvantages of the pescetarian diet and examining its actual consumption data.

Pescetarian: What Is It?

The term “pescetarian” refers to a diet in which an individual primarily consumes vegetarian foods but also includes fish and seafood in their diet. Pescetarians exclude meat from other animals, such as birds and mammals, but choose to include seafood in their diet. 

This dietary choice is a variation of vegetarian and vegan diets, as pescetarians avoid meat from land animals but still incorporate proteins and other nutrients present in seafood.

Many individuals opt for the pescetarian lifestyle driven by ethical, environmental, or health considerations, aiming for a well-rounded and diverse diet. The integration of health-promoting components like omega-3 fatty acids, abundant in fish, underscores the potential health benefits associated with this dietary choice. Including dairy products, eggs, nuts, and seeds further enhances the nutritional profile of a pescetarian diet.

One of the notable advantages of a pescetarian approach is its potential in reducing the risk of heart disease. By actively choosing seafood over red meat and incorporating plant-based foods into meal plans, pescetarians contribute to cardiovascular health. This emphasis on heart health aligns with broader concerns about reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases.

Consulting with a registered dietitian becomes paramount when navigating dietary choices, ensuring that the essential nutrients for optimal health are maintained. The nuanced decision to avoid meat and poultry while embracing fish aligns with a broader movement toward mindful eating and sustainable living. In addition to potential weight loss benefits, the conscious adoption of a pescetarian diet reflects a holistic commitment to individual health, environmental consciousness, and ethical considerations.

Pescetarian Diet: Pros and Cons

The pescetarian diet has several advantages and disadvantages, and it’s important to consider them when deciding to adopt this eating style. Here are some key pros and cons:

Pros of the Pescetarian Diet:

  • Essential Nutrient Acquisition: Seafood is an excellent source of essential nutrients such as omega-3, high-quality proteins, and vital vitamins and minerals.
  • Nutritional Variety: By including fish and seafood, the variety of available foods expands compared to a strict vegetarian diet, making it easier to obtain a wide range of nutrients.
  • Lower Environmental Footprint: Overall, fish production tends to have a lower environmental footprint compared to land animal meat production, potentially making the pescetarian diet a more environmentally sustainable choice.
  • Ease of Adherence: For some people, adopting a pescetarian diet may be easier to maintain compared to a completely vegetarian or vegan diet, as it allows the inclusion of an additional protein source.

Cons of the Pescetarian Diet:

  • Mercury and Contaminants: Some types of fish may contain elevated levels of mercury and other contaminants, raising health concerns.
  • Ethics and Sustainability: While fish production may be more sustainable than land animal meat production, ethical and environmental concerns still exist, including overfishing, habitat degradation, and depletion of marine resources.
  • Accessibility and Cost: Depending on geographic location and availability, seafood may be less accessible or more expensive than other protein sources.
  • Potential Nutrient Deficiency: If not planned properly, a pescetarian diet might lack certain nutrients more easily obtained from animal sources, such as vitamin B12 and iron.

Consumption Data

Dietary trends, including pescetarian and flexitarian lifestyles, have influenced seafood consumption. Consumers are seeking healthier and more sustainable dietary choices, impacting the seafood market. Individuals who identify as pescetarians represent around 5% of the population of the U.S., 

The United States is one of the largest consumers of seafood globally, with millions of tons consumed annually. According to a Report on Per Capita Seafood Consumption by IBIS World, in 2023 there was a total value of 16,6 pounds in the United States. Also, the annualized growth between 2019 and 2024 is 0,5%. 


Lastly, it is crucial to emphasize that, like any diet, balancing benefits and challenges is fundamental for pescetarians, and consulting with a healthcare professional or dietitian before making significant dietary changes is recommended. For pescetarians and all those consuming seafood, choosing quality and sustainable products is crucial. At KrustaGroup, we advocate for wild-caught seafood because it ensures quality. We prioritize sustainable fishing practices, using selective gear and minimizing the impact on marine environments and biodiversity.



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