Can you eat fish during lent?

In this brief guide, we will discuss the following question: “can you eat fish during lent?” and other related queries.

Can you eat fish during lent? 

Yes, you can eat fish during Lent. Because in previous centuries fish was considered a meal for poor people and all people had access to fish because they can go fishing by themselves and do not need a lot of equipment to do it. 

However, meat was a meal for richer people. There are many reasons why fish can be consumed during Lent. Few people say that they consume fish because it is cold-blooded. Generally, on Friday and especially on good Friday Christians abstain from the consumption of meat coming from warm-blooded animals.

So, beef, lamb, sheep, and pork meats are completely avoided on Good Friday. Additionally, some people consume fish, especially on Fridays during Lent because God has created animals on the sixth day which is on Friday. 

Another reason for fish consumption is the miracles that are stated in the bible that are related to fish and seafood. The major miracle is when Jesus fed the crowd with some fish and pieces of bread. 

To note that during the year other than the fasting period, people especially Christians fast on Friday and avoid the consumption of meat during that day. But they still consume eggs, fish, and dairy products.

What is lent?

Lent is traditional religious fasting that occurs forty days or six weeks before Easter. It’s a time of the year that Christians in general and Catholics particularly, fast and pray. During this period of the year, prayers adhere to and follow several practices.

The forty days of fasting do not include Sundays. So, people fast six days a week from Monday till Saturday. Lent comes from the lenten diet which was the diet of most people during the Roman period. 

This diet consisted mainly of fish and vegetables. Meat is absent in this diet because it was a luxury meal, so rich people were the only range of the society that was able to consume it. Moreover, lent is followed to remember the sacrifices Jesus has given to his people. 

Also, some people abstain from the consumption of meat on Fridays all year long because Hesus died on Friday and others fast on Wednesdays and Fridays depending on the person’s religion and beliefs. 

Few people avoid the consumption of several foods such as meats, dairy products, fish, sweets, or others as a sacrifice during the lent period. However, it is advised to avoid meat and animal products each Friday during the lent. Children before the first communion and the elderly over 65 years are not forced to fast. 

What are the alternatives to meat during lent?

There are many alternatives to meat during lent. People should follow a vegetarian diet during this period generally and on Fridays especially. So, to keep your protein intake high, consider consuming legumes that are a good source of lean protein as well as a source of fiber, minerals, and vitamins. 

So, consider adding chickpeas or kidney beans to your salad or you can too simply prepare a lentil soup. Also, this period is a chance for you to start increasing your vegetable intake, so try to include spinach, broccoli, kale, and other vegetables in your diet.

These vegetables are high in protein and iron. So they are considered a good substitution for meat. You can also try tofu and soy products because generally, vegans rely on such products to get their protein requirements.

Veggie pizza, pasta, and ratatouille are good dish options to be prepared during the lent period. Moreover, fish and seafood can be included in your diet during this period of the year. Seafood is rich in proteins and healthy fats such as omega-3.

What can you eat during Lent?

Eating during lent depends on whether you are Roman Catholic or Orthodox. Because limitations depend on both of them. Catholics, for example, are allowed to eat meat during the lent period but on Ash Wednesday and Fridays they should avoid meat and animal products. 

However, people who are Orthodox, also fast for forty days because during this period people should abstain from the consumption of all animal products including red meat like beef and white meat such as chicken, fish, and seafood including shrimp and octopus. Also, eggs and dairy products are avoided. 


In this brief guide, we discussed the following question “Can you eat fish during lent?” and other related queries.


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