It's possible that when you hear the word "diet," the first thing that comes to mind is calorie tracking and dietary limitations as opposed to the Mediterranean diet. This food regimen emphasizes the consumption of lean meats, fresh fruit, whole grains, and healthy fats. Now it is time for you to meet its second incarnation and see what it has to offer you. This pesco Mediterranean diet is the same as the O.G. version, except that it emphasizes fish as a primary source of protein rather than meat. We wanted to know everything there was to know about the flexible diet plan, so we contacted Dr. Felicia Stoler, DCN, who is a certified dietician, nutritionist, and exercise physiologist. (Here's a spoiler: adhering to it is much simpler than expected.)
"Along with nuts, seeds, legumes, and vegetables, the pesco Mediterranean diet relies on proteins from fish," notes Stoler. "The name of the diet itself implies that this is the case." Like the traditional Mediterranean diet, those who follow the Pesco Mediterranean diet plan are permitted to eat dairy products (primarily low-fat dairy products instead of hard cheeses and jars of butter that contain saturated fat and sodium). On the pesco Mediterranean diet, most of what you eat will consist of nutritious fats, newly harvested fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and meals from plants rich in protein.
This way of eating differs from the standard American diet, which consists primarily of manufactured foods. The consumption of ultra-processed foods in the United States (such as frozen pizza, soda, and baked goods) has consistently climbed over the past 20 years. This pattern is typically connected with increased obesity and heart disease prevalence.
It is essential to consume a wide variety of seafood to maintain this diet without becoming uninterested. "We usually think salmon, salmon, salmon, and occasionally tuna; however, there's plenty in between, and different aquatic animals have diverse nutritional levels," adds Stoler. "We always think salmon, salmon, salmon, and occasionally tuna." "In Europe, the cuisines around the Mediterranean contain seafood and fish such as sardines, anchovies, tinned fish, and salted fish."
You are very unlikely to continue following the pesco Mediterranean diet if you get tired of eating salmon and shrimp daily and do not have any interest in expanding your dietary options in any way, shape, or form.
Instead of chicken, beef, or pig, the Pescetarian Mediterranean Diet emphasizes fish as the primary source of protein. People fond of fish, shellfish, and seafood will enjoy it very much. If you don't, cutting yourself off other animal proteins will likely make it more difficult for you to stick to the diet (and you might have trouble staying full if you aren't diligent about consuming other protein-rich plant-based foods). You can read more about it if you do not want to eliminate other animal protein sources.
If you don't like fish, the traditional Mediterranean diet is probably a better option than the pesco version (although both versions are practically the same, except that the pesco version recommends a specific source of animal protein). As predicted, it emphasizes foods native to the Mediterranean region; therefore, you'll be able to consume fruits, grains, nuts, and other items from Greece, Italy, Israel, and other Middle Eastern countries. You probably know what we're talking about when we mention Greek yogurt, chickpeas, quinoa, walnuts, feta cheese, and a significant amount of olive oil.
It's not entirely off the menu, but eating red meat should be limited; the same goes for refined carbohydrates, saturated fats, and processed meals. Red meat isn't entirely off the table, but it should be limited. In addition, you should be mindful of the carbohydrates you consume, choosing complex carbohydrates (like barley, quinoa, and brown rice) over simple carbohydrates (like pasta, white bread, baked goods, and the like).
A definitive comparison of diets is impossible. According to Stoler, "many individuals, including myself, feel that encouraging high consumption of fish [and] seafood—while fantastic for your health—is not sustainable." This is especially true because humans have been plundering oceans and seas. In these waterways, pollutants and toxins threaten the delicate balance of the aquaculture industry and the planet's health. (On that point, purchasing fish produced in a farm setting is more sustainable than buying fish captured in the wild.) Therefore, before you trap yourself in eating seven salmon fillets per week, think about the environment and other sources of protein from plants, such as nuts, beans, and tofu. These are all great options.
Hello, omega-3 fatty acids, also known as essential fats, can help lower your risk of heart disease and stroke, as well as your blood pressure, lipids, and inflammation. Omega-3 fatty acids can also lower your blood pressure. Besides being high in vitamin D and selenium, omega-3 fatty acids protect the heart against irregular cardiac difficulties, increase the function of blood vessels, and may even have a role in the prenatal and postnatal development of the nervous system. Because our systems cannot create omega-3s on their own, we must ingest them as food or supplements; fish is an excellent source of omega-3s. An American Heart Association recommendation is that eating two portions of fatty fish that are 3 ounces each once or twice per week will reduce your risk of deadly heart disease by 36 percent (AHA). On the other hand, fish are not even close to being the sole source of omega-3s that can be found. According to Stoler, omega-3 fatty acids may be found in various foods, including chia, walnuts, hemp, algal oil, and more.
A few studies have also proven the mental health benefits of eating fish. Salmon can significantly lower your risk of developing Alzheimer's disease if you eat it baked or broiled at least once a week, according to the Fisher Center for Alzheimer's Research Foundation. According to the Mayo Clinic, eating fish can also reduce your chance of developing several chronic conditions, reduce your triglyceride levels, prevent blood clots, lessen your risk of a stroke, and help with irregular heartbeats. Because of these advantages, the American Heart Association advises that we eat two fatty fish meals every week, one of which is cooked fish that is 3.5 ounces or 3/4 cup of flaked fish. If you follow the pesco Mediterranean diet, you may expect to consume considerably more food than usual.
If you still need more proof, there is some evidence that the Mediterranean diet might even increase your mood, which means that its cousin diet, which is rich in fish, can also do so. In a study published in 2017 by BMC Medicine, researchers followed a group of persons suffering from depression for one year as they followed the meal plan. At the trial's conclusion, most participants reported a significant reduction in the severity of their symptoms. According to research conducted by scientists, there is also a link between fish consumption and reduced levels of anxiety. According to JAMA Network, experts think omega-3s may quickly go to the brain and connect favorably with mood-regulating molecules and neurotransmitters. This is even though a definitive explanation has not been identified.
Fish and other everyday items in the Mediterranean diet have been shown to help relieve headaches and migraines. According to Maria Marlow, an integrative nutrition health coach and the author of The Real Food Grocery Guide, if you suffer from frequent migraines, the headaches may be prompted by nutritional deficiencies. The deficiencies can be remedied by eating more leafy greens, beans, nuts, and seeds (which contain magnesium), broccoli, eggs, and almonds (which contain riboflavin), and omega-3 fatty acids (which contain omega-6 fatty acids).
This diet plan does not need participants to monitor calories and does not entirely ban any food groups also stands out as a significant advantage (although refined sugars are primarily avoided, which is inherently good for your health). Diets like the pesco Mediterranean or the typical Mediterranean diet might be simple methods to eat more nutritiously (or even perhaps lose weight) without the sensation that you are restricting yourself.
Stoler claims there are "no hazards," but the underlying premise is that a person enjoys eating fish and shellfish. I also consider things like how sustainable they are, how readily available they are, how much they cost, and how much money they require—the pesco Mediterranean diet can be more expensive and out of reach for certain people.
To summarise: The pesco Mediterranean diet can be a good option if you enjoy eating fish and other seafood and have the financial means to purchase all the necessary ingredients. Finding a meal plan suitable for your way of life is, in the end, the most important thing to do, and doing so is essential if you want to commit for the long run and change your behaviors for the better.
In conclusion, Stoler says, "I continue to be adamant in advocating that patients adopt eating practices that they can keep to with an emphasis on eating more plant-based [items] and fewer processed [foods]." No matter what diet you're following, she suggests paying attention to the portion amounts you consume, eating foods closer to the way they are found in nature, and making an effort to waste less food.