The Difference Between Plant-Based, Vegan, Vegetarian & Pescatarian

fresh salad close upThanks to documentaries such as “Black Fish,” “What the Health,” “Forks Over Knives,” and a host of other educating documentaries, you may have begun to rethink the ethical treatment of animals, as well as, the food in which you’re putting into your body. And after watching such documentaries, it makes perfect sense as to why you may be curious about living a non-carnivorous lifestyle. With so much knowledge available at our finger tips and with a drastic increase of vegan and vegetarian eateries across the world, it’s easier now more than ever, to cut back on eating meat. Not sure where to start? Here are four different lifestyles to choose from if you’re interested in living a meat-free life.

Pescatarian

Eating a pescatarian diet means you’re able to eat any type of fruit, vegetable, legume or grain, as well as fish. While pescatarians’ diet is a focus on that of a plant-based diet with the inclusion of fish, some pescatarians still consume dairy and eggs. Some benefits of this type of lifestyle includes meeting your need for B-complex vitamins and obtaining plenty of protein; a three-ounce raw Atlantic salmon fillet has 17 grams of protein. Some fish, including salmon, tuna and herring, provide healthy omega-3 fatty acids which help reduce the risk of developing high cholesterol, high blood pressure and heart problems.

Vegetarian

A person who identifies as a vegetarian abstains from consuming any type of meat including poultry, seafood, red meat and the flesh of any other animal. There are different versions of this type of diet that includes an ovo-lacto vegetarian in which this version of vegetarianism includes consumption of eggs and dairy; ovo-vegetarian – a person who eats eggs but not dairy; and lacto-vegetarian – a diet in which a person consumes dairy but not eggs. Depending on your beliefs, some vegetarians also refrain from by-products of animal slaughter. Some benefits of maintaining a vegetarian diet include decreasing your chances of developing kidney stones and lessening the risk of experiencing strokes, diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular disease.