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Home arrow Nutrition arrow Keto Diet arrow Getting Started With the Pescatarian Keto Diet: What You Need to Know

Getting Started With the Pescatarian Keto Diet: What You Need to Know

HR_author_photo_Edibel
Written by Edibel Quintero, RD
HR_author_photo_Edna
Fact checked by Edna Skopljak, MD
Last update: May 22, 2023
7 min read 943 Views 0 Comments
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Discover the health benefits of the pescatarian keto diet and tips on how you can incorporate it into your everyday life.

pescatarian keto

The traditional ketogenic diet has a range of well-known benefits for your health and wellness, including reducing your risk of heart disease and diabetes, protecting your brain function, and boosting energy levels.

However, the traditional low-carb ketogenic diet is mostly meat-based. If that’s not what you’re into, then pescatarian keto may be a more suitable option for you.

We explain what the pescatarian keto diet is, which foods you should eat, and provide you with a full 7-day meal plan to help you get started.

What Is Pescatarian Keto?

Pescatarian keto merges elements of the pescatarian and keto diets. Someone following this diet would avoid eating meat while consuming a restricted amount of carbohydrates, a high amount of fat, and moderate levels of protein.

On the ketogenic diet, you should aim to get 70–80% of your total daily calorie intake from fat, 10–20% from protein, and only 5–10% from carbs. Eating minimal carbs triggers ketosis, a metabolic state where the body is forced to burn stored fat for fuel rather than glucose.

Many people following traditional keto rely on meat products to reach their protein and fat goals, whereas those on the pescatarian diet eat only fish, seafood, dairy, and eggs as their animal-based options.

4 Benefits of the Pescatarian Keto Diet 

Low-carb, high-fat diets like the pescatarian keto diet have several benefits that make it worth trying for a variety of different health and fitness goals. Read on to find out how this modified ketogenic diet can benefit you.

#1 Building muscle

Protein is an essential macronutrient for preserving, strengthening, and building muscle mass. Compared to a vegetarian or vegan diet, the pescatarian ketogenic diet includes a much wider range of protein sources. 

When combined with a 10-week resistance training program, women between the ages of 20 and 40 who followed the keto diet lost body fat while maintaining lean muscle

Although your carb intake will be restricted, try to prioritize eating carbohydrates around your training sessions for optimal performance.

#2 High levels of omega-3 fatty acids

As we’ve explained, those following the pescatarian keto diet prioritize fish as their main source of nutrients. Seafood contains high levels of omega-3s, polyunsaturated fatty acids that help keep your heart healthy. 

Polyunsaturated fatty acids lower the “bad” LDL cholesterol levels while increasing HDL “good” cholesterol levels, lowering your risk of heart disease.

Other plant-based, keto-friendly sources of omega-3 include chia seeds, flaxseed, walnuts, and even Brussels sprouts.

#3 Weight loss

Combining the pescatarian and keto diets is a great method for losing weight quickly and keeping it off in the long run. 

Minimizing your carbohydrate intake leaves your body with depleted glycogen stores, meaning that it begins to burn through your stored fat instead of the glucose you’d usually get from carbs. This forms ketone bodies, which your body uses as an alternative energy source.

In a 2015 study, subjects were less hungry on a low-carbohydrate diet, highlighting how the keto diet can suppress appetite. This means that you will naturally consume fewer calories, which increases the likelihood of weight loss.

#4 Has anti-inflammatory effects

Along with maintaining good heart health, the omega-3s that are present in fish may also reduce inflammation in the body. Inflammation is your body’s way of responding to damage or infection, which can be triggered by autoimmune diseases, environmental pollution, or smoking, to name just a few causes.

Long-term or chronic inflammation may lead to conditions such as depression, arthritis, cancer, heart disease, and premature aging. 

The fatty acids that you consume on a pescatarian keto diet reduce the production of substances linked to inflammation, which lowers your risk of developing any of these conditions.

Pescetarian Keto Grocery List 

When you’re walking down the aisles of the grocery store, it can be difficult knowing which pescatarian keto-friendly products you can pick up and which ones you should leave on the shelf. 

To save you time and make your shopping experience much easier, read the recommended pescatarian keto food list below:

Seafood:

  • Salmon (0g carbs/100g)
  • Tuna (0g carbs/100g)
  • Shrimp (0g carbs/100g)
  • Trout (0g carbs/100g)
  • Mackerel (0g carbs/100g)
  • Halibut (0g carbs/100g)
  • Cod (0g carbs/100g)
  • Tilapia (0g carbs/100g)
  • Anchovies (0g carbs/100g)
  • Sardines (0g carbs/100g)
  • Clams (2g carbs/100g)
  • Oysters (3g carbs/100g)
  • Scallops (0g carbs/100g)
  • Crab (0g carbs/100g)
  • Lobster (0g carbs/100g)
  • Octopus (2g carbs/100g)
  • Mussels (4g carbs/100g)

Fruits and vegetables:

  • Broccoli (5g carbs/100g)
  • Avocado (9g carbs/100g)
  • Spinach (3g carbs/100g)
  • Asparagus (2g carbs/100g)
  • Tomatoes (4g carbs/100g)
  • Cucumber (3g carbs/100g)
  • Kale (5g carbs/100g)
  • Raspberries (6g carbs/100g)
  • Blueberries (9g carbs/100g)
  • Strawberries (7g carbs/100g)

Eggs and dairy:

  • Eggs (0g carbs/100g)
  • Greek yogurt (4g carbs/100g)
  • Cottage cheese (3g carbs/100g)

Nuts and seeds:

  • Almonds (6g carbs/100g)
  • Walnuts (4g carbs/100g)
  • Pumpkin seeds (5g carbs/100g)
  • Chia seeds (4g carbs/100g)
  • Flax seeds (5g carbs/100g)
  • Sunflower seeds (6g carbs/100g)
  • Cashews (9g carbs/100g)

Healthy fats:

  • Olive oil (0g carbs/100g)
  • Coconut oil (0g carbs/100g)
  • Avocado oil (0g carbs/100g)
  • Butter (0g carbs/100g)
pescatarian keto
Health Reporter edit

7-Day Pescatarian Keto Meal Plan

Once you’ve got all your groceries, you might need some inspiration to keep your keto recipes interesting and nutritious.

We’ve put together a pescatarian keto meal plan for one week that ensures you’ll look forward to each and every meal time.

Day 1

Breakfast: Keto omelet (3 large eggs, 2 ounces of cheese, 1 tablespoon of butter, 1/4 cup of diced bell peppers, 1/4 cup of diced onions) – Calories: 611, Fat: 47g, Protein: 28g, Carbohydrates: 5g

Lunch: Grilled salmon (4 ounces of salmon, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon of paprika, 1/4 teaspoon of salt) – Calories: 305, Fat: 17g, Protein: 33g, Carbohydrates: 0g

Dinner: Shrimp scampi (4 ounces of shrimp, 2 tablespoons of butter, 2 cloves of garlic, 1 teaspoon of lemon juice, 1/4 teaspoon of salt, 1 tablespoon of chopped parsley) – Calories: 236, Fat: 16g, Protein: 19g, Carbohydrates: 2g

Day 2

Breakfast: Keto smoothie (1 cup of spinach, 1/2 cup of almond milk, 1/4 cup of blueberries, 1 scoop of protein powder) – Calories: 230, Fat: 7g, Protein: 22g, Carbohydrates: 15g

Lunch: Grilled tuna (4 ounces of tuna, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon of paprika, 1/4 teaspoon of salt) – Calories: 235, Fat: 8g, Protein: 37g, Carbohydrates: 0g

Dinner: Zucchini noodles with pesto (1/2 cup of pesto, 2 medium zucchinis, 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese) – Calories: 451, Fat: 40g, Protein: 11g, Carbohydrates: 8g

Day 3

Breakfast: Keto frittata (3 large eggs, 1/2 cup of diced bell peppers, 1/2 cup of diced onions, 2 ounces of cheese, 1 tablespoon of butter) – Calories: 588, Fat: 43g, Protein: 28g, Carbohydrates: 7g

Lunch: Grilled shrimp (4 ounces of shrimp, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon of paprika, 1/4 teaspoon of salt) – Calories: 188, Fat: 10g, Protein: 24g, Carbohydrates: 0g

Dinner: Baked salmon with creamy spinach (4 ounces of salmon, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon of paprika, 1/4 teaspoon of salt, 1/2 cup of spinach, 1/4 cup of cream cheese) – Calories: 393, Fat: 28g, Protein: 27g, Carbohydrates: 3g

Day 4

Breakfast: Keto pancakes (3 large eggs, 2 tablespoons of almond flour, 2 tablespoons of heavy cream, 1/4 teaspoon of baking powder) – Calories: 537, Fat: 43g, Protein: 21g, Carbohydrates: 8g

Lunch: Grilled halibut (4 ounces of halibut, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon of paprika, 1/4 teaspoon of salt) – Calories: 222, Fat: 8g, Protein: 32g, Carbohydrates: 0g

Dinner: Eggplant lasagna (2 medium eggplants, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon of paprika, 1/4 teaspoon of salt, 1/2 cup of ricotta cheese, 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese) – Calories: 461, Fat: 27g, Protein: 16g, Carbohydrates: 22g

Day 5

Breakfast: Keto yogurt parfait (1 cup of plain Greek yogurt, 1/4 cup of sliced almonds, 1/4 cup of blueberries) – Calories: 332, Fat: 18g, Protein: 24g, Carbohydrates: 13g

Lunch: Grilled salmon (4 ounces of salmon, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon of paprika, 1/4 teaspoon of salt) – Calories: 305, Fat: 17g, Protein: 33g, Carbohydrates: 0g

Dinner: Zucchini noodles with pesto (1/2 cup of pesto, 2 medium zucchinis, 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese) – Calories: 451, Fat: 40g, Protein: 11g, Carbohydrates: 8g

Day 6

Breakfast: Keto omelet (3 large eggs, 2 ounces of cheese, 1 tablespoon of butter, 1/4 cup of diced bell peppers, 1/4 cup of diced onions) – Calories: 611, Fat: 47g, Protein: 28g, Carbohydrates: 5g

Lunch: Grilled tuna (4 ounces of tuna, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon of paprika, 1/4 teaspoon of salt) – Calories: 235, Fat: 8g, Protein: 37g, Carbohydrates: 0g

Dinner: Shrimp scampi (4 ounces of shrimp, 2 tablespoons of butter, 2 cloves of garlic, 1 teaspoon of lemon juice, 1/4 teaspoon of salt, 1 tablespoon of chopped parsley) – Calories: 236, Fat: 16g, Protein: 19g, Carbohydrates: 2g

Day 7

Breakfast: Keto smoothie (1 cup of spinach, 1/2 cup of almond milk, 1/4 cup of blueberries, 1 scoop of protein powder) – Calories: 230, Fat: 7g, Protein: 22g, Carbohydrates: 15g

Lunch: Grilled shrimp (4 ounces of shrimp, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon of paprika, 1/4 teaspoon of salt) – Calories: 188, Fat: 10g, Protein: 24g, Carbohydrates: 0g

Dinner: Baked salmon with creamy spinach (4 ounces of salmon, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon of paprika, 1/4 teaspoon of salt, 1/2 cup of spinach, 1/4 cup of cream cheese) – Calories: 393, Fat: 28g, Protein: 27g, Carbohydrates: 3g

A Word From an MD

The pescatarian keto diet offers several benefits for those who would prefer to get most of their nutrients from fish, seafood, dairy, eggs, low-carb fruits, and vegetables. This includes improving insulin sensitivity for type 2 diabetes, boosting weight loss, and reducing inflammation.

To get started on this diet, you’ll need to determine your unique daily calorie and macronutrient intake. This will vary depending on your BMI and your goals, such as losing weight or building muscle.

If you’re unsure of how much fat, protein, and carbs you need to consume each day to reach your goals, use a keto calculator.

Don’t panic if you feel unwell in the first few days of the diet, as this is most likely keto flu. You may experience nausea, headaches, diarrhea or constipation, and fatigue, but these symptoms are only temporary and should disappear after the first week.

As with any new diet, it’s important to consult your doctor before making the switch. They can advise you on whether this diet will be suitable for your needs, as well as outline any risks that you should consider.

FAQs

Can you lose weight with a pescatarian keto diet?

Yes, the pescatarian keto diet can help you lose weight as it restricts carbohydrate intake, causing your body to go into the fat-burning state of ketosis. However, you must also ensure that you are burning more calories than you’re eating to lose weight.

Is pescatarian keto healthier?

The pescatarian diet may be healthier than the traditional keto diet, as it eliminates red and processed meats that have been linked with cancer. It also prioritizes healthy omega-3 fats, which contribute to good heart health.

What are the risks of a pescatarian keto diet?

Consuming a lot of fish puts you at risk of ingesting heavy metals and pollutants such as mercury, which can be toxic for humans. As you are consuming fewer fruits and starchy vegetables, you may also experience nutrient deficiencies.

Conclusion

Whether you want to cut out meat for ethical reasons or to improve your health, the pescatarian keto diet may be an effective method to help you.

People with type 1 diabetes, kidney damage, or who are pregnant should avoid this diet, as it could lead to further complications. If you are unsure, talk to a healthcare professional who can give you a complete health assessment before committing to a low-carbohydrate diet.

Written by Edibel Quintero, RD
Edibel Quintero is a medical doctor who graduated in 2013 from the University of Zulia and has been working in her profession since then. She specializes in obesity and nutrition, physical rehabilitation, sports massage and post-operative rehabilitation. Edibel’s goal is to help people live healthier lives by educating them about food, exercise, mental wellness and other lifestyle choices that can improve their quality of life.
The article was fact checked by Edna Skopljak, MD
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HR_author_photo_Edibel
Written by Edibel Quintero, RD
HR_author_photo_Edna
Fact checked by Edna Skopljak, MD
Last update: May 22, 2023
7 min read 943 Views 0 Comments
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