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Pescatarian, Fruitarian, Vegetarian
7 February 2018 No comments
Pescatarian and fruitarian. We’re not making up these terms. They do exist and have become a way of life for some people. Let’s go into the details of each.
Pescatarian (may also be spelled as pescetarian). A pescatarian is a person who doesn’t eat any meat except for fish and seafood. Other seafoods included in the diet are lobsters, crabs, shrimps, and mussels. They also eat a variety of fruits and vegetables. People commonly prefer this type of diet for health reasons. They believe that the omega-3 fatty acids and protein provided by fish and other seafoods will be enough to sustain their everyday needs. Some do it on the road to becoming a full-fledged vegetarian to ease the transition.
Pescatarians develop less chronic medical conditions (like hypertension) compared to people who eat a full diet including meat. Though they do have to watch out for pollutants (such as mercury and cadmium) present in the seafood they eat. This type of diet contributes positively to the environment through non-consumption of land animals. The very first known and documented use of the word pescatarian dates back to 1991.
Fruitarian. As the term obviously implies, a fruitarian is a person who loves to eat fruit without eating any animal products. It usually consists of 50 to 75% of food coming from fruits but can also include some seeds, nuts and vegetables. It’s a subtype of veganism (not vegetarianism). Click here for more information on how veganism differs from vegetarianism. People turn to fruitarianism for health, religious (and ethical), cultural, and environmental reasons.
Unfortunately, fruitarians may suffer from a significant number of nutritional deficiencies compared to vegans, vegetarians, and pescatarians. High levels of sugar in fruits predisposes a fruitarian to diabetes mellitus and dental caries (tooth decay). Vitamin B12 deficiency, a feature they share commonly with vegans and vegetarians should also be addressed. This type of diet isn’t recommended for children because of the possibility of severe malnutrition.
Steve Jobs is probably the best-known fruitarian. I think you know who he is. Just wondering, did he name his company Apple because he was a fruitarian at some point in his life? Hmm.
Vegetarian. Perhaps the best known among these set of terms, a vegetarian is someone who doesn’t consume meat, fish or any animal product that results in the animal being killed, such as gelatine. A vegetarian diet is predominantly plant-based. These include pulses, grains, seeds, nuts, legumes, fruits, and vegetables with some animal products like eggs and dairy. People embrace a vegetarian way of life because of health, environmental and religious reasons, and as a form of animal advocacy.
Vegetarians commonly enjoy a healthy life with a lower risk of developing cardiovascular diseases, and diabetes mellitus. Sadly, like the fruitarians, vegetarians may also suffer from vitamin B12 deficiency. There are different types of vegetarian diets.
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Since 2011, there has been an increase of 27% of Kiwis embracing a vegetarian way of life. Australians are also finding renewed interest in vegetarianism with 11.2% of the population registering as vegetarians. The term vegetarian and its definition were conceived by the Vegetarian Society in Manchester, UK, way back in 1847.
In this day and age, you have the freedom to choose whatever diet and lifestyle your heart desires. There’s no one stopping you. If you do plan to switch to another type of diet, make sure you do your research first. It’s also best that you talk to the actual people who have followed the diet for a length of time to learn from them. Create a specific diet plan to avoid nutritional deficiencies. And of course, don’t forget to consult your healthcare practitioner for support.
- Ross, A. C., Caballero, B., Cousins, R. J., Tucker, K. L., & Ziegler, T. R. (2014). Modern nutrition in health and disease. Philadelphia, Pa: Wolters Kluwer/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins