Do vegetarians eat fish?

In this brief article, we will answer the question, “Do vegetarians eat fish?” and provide information on what is pescatarian and flexitarian, what vegans consume as well as the potential problems that can occur with a vegan diet.

Do vegetarians eat fish?

No, vegetarians do not eat fish. This is because vegetarians do not consume any animal products. 

Some vegetarians are known as lacto-ovo-vegetarians. People who belong to this category would consume cheese, eggs, and milk but not fish. However, they would not be purely vegan as they are consuming animal products.

What is a pescatarian?

A pescatarian is an individual who consumes fish and seafood but does not consume the meat of other animals. However, this does not make them vegetarian as they do not purely consume a plant-based diet.

Pescatarians might consume fish for a change in flavor and for obtaining more nutrition. Fatty fish like salmon, trout, tuna, and mackerel can be good sources of Omega-3 that are anti-inflammatory in nature. 

Omega-3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA) would aid in the brain development of babies. Fish and seafood also contain good amounts of zinc and vitamin B12. 

Zinc helps in promoting immunity and fertility. Vitamin B12 helps in maintaining both the nervous and immune systems.

From an environmental point of view, livestock can contribute to a 15 percent carbon footprint. However, fish or other seafood has a lower carbon footprint.

It can be difficult to obtain these nutrients from a purely plant-based diet. As a result, vegetarians might switch to a seafood-based diet to obtain these nutrients or to bring a change to their routine. 

What is a Flexitarian?

Flexitarian is a term that refers to individuals who follow a purely vegan diet but occasionally consume animal or dairy products. 

Flexitarian is a combination of two words, “flexible” and “vegetarian”. This means that a flexitarian consumes plant-based foods but has the flexibility to incorporate animal-based foods into their diet.

There is not a set amount of dairy or meat that a flexitarian chooses to consume. However, they prefer to consume whole foods over processed ones. This means that they would choose to avoid processed foods including rice, pasta, bacon, sausage, and deep-fried foods.

What do vegetarians eat?

Vegetarians eat only plant-based meals. Foods that are animal-based or contain animal ingredients are avoided.

Vegetarians do not consume dairy products either. Instead, they choose to consume plant milk. This includes soy milk, almond milk, rice milk, etc. This can help in providing them with protein.

To obtain calcium, they might go for fortified plant milk products too. Fortified milk products contain added calcium and vitamin D. 

Fruits and vegetables are an essential part of a vegetarian’s diet. Both fruits and veggies are good sources of fiber that can help reduce blood pressure and cholesterol. 

Apart from this, it helps in keeping one’s stomach full which prevents overeating. Fruits and veggies can also give essential minerals and vitamins.

Pulses and beans can be good sources of protein for vegans. Some vegans also indulge in soy or soy-based foods (soy drinks or soy protein powder) to obtain protein. Protein can be present in nuts and seeds as well.

There are meat alternatives to a protein that can be explored by vegans too. This would include vegan cheeses, tofu, tempeh, and textured vegetable protein.

Fatty fish is a rich source of Omega-3 but for vegans, Omega-3 can be taken from rapeseed oil and soy oil. However, it is found in nuts and seeds as well.

Starchy carbs can make up 38 percent of a vegan’s diet. It would include rice, potato, pasta, and other cereals. It is important to consume whole grains. Do not consume refined or processed foods.

The oils and spreads should make up only 1 percent of a vegan diet. Consume healthy oils like olive oil, rice bran oil, and canola oil.

What problems can occur with a vegetarian diet?

If a vegetarian consumes a properly balanced diet, there would be no deficiency of nutrients. However, vegans who do not consume a balanced diet are at risk of suffering from iron, zinc, protein, and vitamin B12 deficiency.

Some of the good sources of iron for vegetarians would include leafy veggies, dried fruits, fortified foods, and fortified whole meal bread.

Sources of B12 are fortified soy products and fortified breakfast cereals. Certain mushrooms, tempeh, seaweed, and fortified seaweed extract contain B12 too.

Zinc is present in beans, nuts, seeds, and legumes. Tofu and spinach are rich in zinc too. Plant milk, nuts, and soy can give protein.


In this brief article, we have answered the question, “Do vegetarians eat fish?” and provided information on what is pescatarian and flexitarian, what vegans consume as well as the potential problems that can occur with a vegan diet.


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