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A Beginners Guide to Becoming a Pescatarian | Meal Plan, Pros & Cons


Pescatarian Meal Plan

Put simply, a pescatarian is basically someone chooses to eat a vegetarian diet, so they don’t eat meat, but do eat fish. Many pescatarians also eat dairy and eggs.

The pescatarian diet largely plant-based, consisting of whole grains, nuts, legumes, produce and healthy fats, with seafood playing a key role as a main protein source.

So, when it comes to the pescatarian vs vegetarian decision, there are more choices available to eat with the pescatarian option.

Many people are concerned that completely excluding animal products or avoiding animal flesh could lead to a low intake of certain key nutrients (In particular, vitamins B12, zinc, calcium and protein can be somewhat harder to get on a vegan diet (Adding seafood, including fish, crustaceans and molluscs, to a vegetarian diet can provide beneficial nutrients and variety.

Pescatarian Diet Benefits

There are several pescatarian benefits and reasons people may choose to eat a pescatarian diet. Here are some of the main ones.


  • Health Benefits

There are many proven benefits to plant-based diets, including a lower risk of obesity and chronic diseases like heart disease and diabetes According to research, you can get many of those protective benefits from a pescatarian diet too.

Additionally, one large study looked at people who ate meat rarely or were pescatarians. They had a 22% lower risk of dying from heart disease compared to regular meat-eaters



  • Weight Loss

A Pescatarian weight loss plan is one that is proven to work too. One study found that women who were pescatarians gained 2.5 fewer pounds (1.1 kg) each year than women who ate meat 

Plus, people who shifted their diet in a more plant-based direction gained the least amount of weight, showing that reducing your animal consumption may be good for you no matter your current eating patterns.



  • Environmental Concerns

According to the United Nations, raising livestock contributes to 15% of all human-made carbon emissions, whereas in contrast, producing fish and seafood has a lower carbon footprint than producing any type of animal meat or cheese.



  • Ethical Reasons

Ethics can be a major reason why people choose to go vegetarian. It can be a major reason for pescatarians too.

Eliminating land animals from your diet addresses some of ethical concerns. That said, aquaculture and overfishing can also be problematic.


Cons of a Pescatarian Diet

One of the biggest disadvantages of a pescatarian diet is that some types of fish can be high in mercury, a neurotoxin that can cause a wide range of bad health effects, including muscle weakness, loss of peripheral vision, impaired fine motor skills, tremors, headaches, insomnia and emotional changes. The good news is that smaller fish tend to have much less mercury content than larger fish, so they’re safer to eat.

  • Least Mercury (eat at will): anchovies, herring, North Atlantic mackerel, pollock, sardines, shrimp, freshwater trout, squid, clams, crayfish and catfish.
  • Moderate Mercury (eat six or fewer servings per month): carp, cod, bass, mahi mahi, lobster, snapper, freshwater perch, and skipjack or canned chunk light tuna.
  • High Mercury (three servings or less per month): halibut, ocean perch, Chilean sea bass, albacore or yellowfin tuna, and Spanish mackerel.
  • Highest Mercury (avoid eating these fish): bluefish, grouper, king mackerel, marlin, swordfish, bigeye and ahi tuna, shark and orange roughy.

Pescatarian Meal Prep 

A typical pescatarian diet is primarily vegetarian with the addition of seafood. If you’re new to pescatarianism, when planning your meals, the following lists should help;


Pescatarians Do Eat

  • Whole grains and grain products
  • Legumes and their products, including beans, lentils, tofu and hummus
  • Nuts and nut butters, peanuts and seeds
  • Seeds, including hemp, chia and flaxseeds
  • Dairy, including yogurt, milk and cheese
  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Fish and shellfish
  • Eggs

Pescatarians Don’t Eat;

  • Beef
  • Chicken
  • Pork
  • Lamb
  • Turkey
  • Wild game


1500 Calorie Pescatarian Meal Plan Ideas

Menu 1


  • Breakfast – Oatmeal and Eggs – 394 calories

1 packet high fibre oatmeal
2 hard-boiled egg whites
1/4 cup nuts


  • Snack AM – Fruit – 60 calories

1 cup cut fruit or 1 piece of fruit


  • Lunch – Tuna Sandwich – 350 calories

2 slices 100% whole wheat light bread
Tuna fish (4 ounces)
1 tablespoon light mayo
Light string cheese
1/2 cup baby carrots


  • Snack – Cheese and Crackers – 125 calories

Laughing Cow Cheese Wedge
19 Special K Crackers



  • Dinner – Tofu and Broccoli Over Pasta – 475 calories

4oz firm tofu & 1/2 cup broccoli
1 cup whole wheat pasta
2 cups garden salad
2 tablespoons light balsamic


  • Dessert – Popcorn – 100 calories

1 mini bag microwave popcorn

Daily Total- 1504 calories


Menu 2


  • Breakfast – Cereal and Milk – 205 calories

1 cup Cheerio’s
1/2 banana or 1/2 cup blueberries/strawberries
4oz skimmed milk


  • Snack AM – Yogurt – 100 calories

6oz light yogurt


  • Lunch – Soup and Spinach – 425 calories

Light soup (any kind with 100 calories or less per serving)
-with 1 cup spinach microwaved into soup
Light string cheese
5 Crackers

Any 100-calorie snack


  • Snack – Veggies and Hummus – 125 calories

1 cup raw veggies (any kind)
1/4 cup hummus

  • Dinner – Taco Night – 520 calories

2/3 cup veggie protein crumbles
Taco seasoning
Low Carb Wraps
1/4 cup reduced fat shredded cheese

  • Dessert – Low Calorie Truffle Bar – 100 calories

Low Calorie Truffle Bar

Daily Total- 1475 calories


Menu 3


  • Breakfast – English Muffin with Peanut Butter – 295 calories

1 whole wheat English muffin
1 tablespoon peanut butter
1 egg, prepared any way


  • Snack AM – Apple and Peanut Butter – 150 calories

1 medium apple
1 tablespoon peanut butter


  • Lunch – Sandwich – 320 calories

2 slices 100% whole wheat light bread
3 tablespoons hummus
1 slice low fat cheese
Lettuce/tomato/onion, etc.
Piece of fruit


  • Snack – Yoghurt – 180 calories

6oz light yogurt
2 tablespoons slivered almonds


  • Dinner – Cod – 470 calories

Cod with Spinach and Tomatoes
3oz cod -with tomato, spinach, and 1 tablespoon feta
1 cup sautéed veggies (summer squash, tomatoes, aubergine, onion) with 1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup brown rice

  • Dessert – Low Calorie Truffle Bar – 100 calories

Low Calorie Truffle Bar

Daily Total- 1515 calories

If you’re wanting to consume more calories, here’s a sample 1,800 calorie pescatarian meal plan;


Menu 1


  • Breakfast – Protein Oatmeal with Fruit 

1 cup cooked oatmeal (prepared with water)

1 Tbsp. nut butter, all natural

½ scoop protein powder

1 cup fresh berries, 1 small chopped apple, or ½ large banana, mashed, stirred into oatmeal


  • Snack – Kale Chips

3 cups kale

1 tsp. olive oil

2 Tbsp. nutritional yeast

Preferred spices (garlic powder, paprika)

Kale Chip preparation tips:

  1. Toss all ingredients together; place on sheet pan.
  2. Bake for 10 min. at 350 F.


  • Lunch – Prawn Salad with Kale and Spinach

1½ cups kale

1½ cups baby spinach

½ cup cherry tomatoes

⅔ cup cooked lentils

2 tsp. olive oil

1½ Tbsp. balsamic vinegar


  • Snack – Grapes and Almonds

10 grapes

10 almonds, unsalted


  • Dinner – Tacos

4 oz. Cod cooked with Mexican spice blend

2 Tbsp. black beans

2 corn tortillas (6-inch)

3 Tbsp. Greek yogurt (plain, 2%)

¼ cup fresh salsa

parsley (for garnish)


Meal 2


  • Breakfast – Crunchy Cacao Greek Yoghurt Bowl

¾ cup Greek yogurt (plain)

¼ cup low-fat granola (without raisins)

½ cup blueberries

1 Tbsp. pumpkin seeds unsalted



  • Snack – Cucumber and Edamame


¼ cup organic edamame, shelled

1 cup cucumber slices, quartered

2 tsp. rice vinegar

1 tsp. sesame oil

Garnish with a pinch of black sesame seeds or red chili flakes (if desired)


  • Lunch – Spicy Seared Tofu with Fried Rice

2 tsp. reduced-sodium tamari soy sauce

1 tsp. sriracha

6 oz. firm tofu, patted dry

Non-stick cooking spray

1 tsp. olive oil

½ cup egg whites

½ cup cooked brown rice

1 cup frozen Asian mixed vegetables, thawed


  • Snack – Devilled Egg with Hummus


1 hard-boiled egg (with yolk)

1 Tbsp. hummus

Paprika (or chives) (for garnish; optional)


  • Dinner – Sheet Pan Salmon with Potatoes and Green Beans

Non-stick cooking spray

5 oz. raw wild salmon

1¾ cups raw green beans

2 tsp. fresh dill

½ lemon, sliced

¾ medium potato, cut into ½-inch cubes

½ tsp. olive oil

Preferred spices


Why not save these recipes as you own pescatarian meal plan pdf that you can share with family and friends? Plus, if you have any comments or pescatarian recipes you’d like to share, please feel free to comment below.

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Nutrition A Beginners Guide to Becoming a Pescatarian | Meal Plan, Pros & Cons