Courtesy of Pixabay

Conscious Palate: Benefits of a Pescetarian Diet

00:00 May 28, 2013
By: Kristal Blue
[Courtesy of Getty Images/iStock Photo]

A pescetarian diet is based on the consumption of egg, dairy, shellfish, fish and aquatic invertebrates, but excludes all other animal products, including the meat of birds and mammals. The lack of red meat reduces the common risks associated with its consumption: heart disease, colon cancer, and diabetes, to name a few. While the pescetarian diet is not as friendly to the planet or to animals as a fully vegetarian or vegan diet, pescetarianism does offer a number of critically important health benefits. The preventive qualities in fish and aquatic life that aid in combating such detrimental disease and illness are attributed to the large quantities of polyunsaturated omega-3 fatty acid content. Fish are also a great source of iron, reducing the risk of anemia and lack of vitamin D-3, common nutrient deficiencies in most vegetarian and vegan diets.

Adequate intake of calcium and vitamin D, along with maintaining an active lifestyle, are important factors to hold in high regard in terms of bone health. Women are especially susceptible to frailty and morbidity that accompany bone loss and osteoporosis with age. In menopause-associated situations, hormonal replacements can directly aid in osteo-redevelopment; however, simply adding omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil to your diet is the simplest bone-enhancing solution.

Nourishment begins from the inside out. Much like the skin of a potato adds fiber, eating the skin of fish, particularly salmon, grants a high-powered dose of good fats rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Your complexion will benefit by feasting on fish due to its rich concentration of healthy fats. These fats nourish the skin and reduce the body's production of inflammatory substances, which spawns a decrease in clogged pores, and—you're not ready for this one—aversion to pesky fine lines and wrinkles. Fish never tasted so good, right?

Chef Michael Sichel at Galatoire's explains, "Freshest Louisiana seafood, traditionally prepared, is Galatoire's success. Our daily focus is to have a selection of at least eight Gulf offerings that are caught, delivered, and filleted each day for the customer's satisfaction. This freshness displays clean, delicate flavors and true textures." The restaurant's Grilled Lemon Fish is an excellent choice, and the recipe is very easy to follow:

3 tablespoons salted butter
1 pound jumbo lump crabmeat

salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

six 8-ounce lemon fish (Cobia) fillets, about ½ inch thick, or another firm, flaky white fish, such as red or black drum

¼ cup olive oil
1 recipe meunière butter
3 lemons, cut into wedges

Preheat an outdoor gas or charcoal grill.

In a medium sauté pan, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the crabmeat and season with salt and pepper. Stir very gently and sauté for 4 minutes, or until heated through. Set aside while grilling the fish.

Brush the fish fillets with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill the fish for 3 minutes on each side, taking care not to overcook. Remove from the grill.

Immediately place the lemon fish fillets in the centers of 6 dinner plates. If the crabmeat has become cold, flash-heat it over high heat and equally divide it atop the 6 fish fillets. Drizzle meunière butter atop each dish and garnish with lemon wedges. Serve at once.

Our region definitely imparts beneficial avenues for sourcing fresh fish and seafood. The quality that being in close proximity to the ocean provides is unparallel to that of landlocked areas. Gulf of Mexico waters prove fruitful and have sustained a thriving market for as long as the city has been inhabited by man. Specialty dishes like Shrimp Creole and Seafood Gumbo have made definitive marks on the city.

Pascal's Manale serves up a damn fine Grilled Fish Orleansagrilled fish of the day topped with shrimp, artichoke hearts, and mushrooms, served with capellini pasta. It has also been pegged as the original creator of one of the greatest dishes in local cuisine—Barbeque Shrimp. The restaurant's reputation and cult following are as thick as the most prevalent Cajun accent.

The predominantly pescetarian diet consumed by Asian Pacific natives, namely the Japanese, is quite possibly a contributing factor to their low cancer rates and long lifespans. The Japanese may be exposed to more environmental toxins than we are here in the United States, but surprisingly, the rates of coronary heart disease and cancer among the public are significantly less than those of Americans. The high content of life-giving omega-3 fats, vitamin D-3, and natural iodine found in fish may be a contributing force to the overall health of the Japanese population.

Family-owned and operated Ninja has a decent stock of awards to prove their success, but the return customers mean more to owners Johnny and Momo than any bestowed credentials. With a massive menu that accommodates most regimens, everything can be made to satisfy vegetarians and special dietary needs. Ninja puts local spin on a popular Japanese food with its Cajun Tuna Tataki, turning what is out of sight as-is to an over-the-top amazing bite. And for a free dessert, be sure to wear your Ninja T-shirt next time you dine in.

Rock-n-Sake keeps the CBD filled to the gills, offering creative rolls and tasty side dishes. Its seaweed salad and cucumber salad are refreshing meat-free options, but the sushi bar is what really piques the most interest. The super-fresh Tuna Ceviche and California Sunset Roll are listed among customer faves.

Hana is a "no frills, just good food" joint frequented by locals on a mission for solid sushi. Light tempura-battered veggies and noodle salads act as scrumptious fillers, while thinly sliced fresh sashimi paired with attentive severs hat tips the pleasantries. Their crowd-pleasing Hana Special Roll is so large it needs its own parish.

Seafood is to New Orleans what politics are to the nation's capital. Whether it's grilled, broiled, baked, or raw and rolled into a perfect little cloud of rice, fish's benefits span far and wide.

Sign Up!