Skip to Content

3+ Key Differences between Vegetarian and Pescatarian Diets

3+ Key Differences between Vegetarian and Pescatarian Diets

There are so many different diets these days. People choose to follow a certain diet for various ethical, religious, medical, or health reasons. It could also simply be personal preference and taste.

If you’re hosting a dinner party, it is important to know what the most common diets are. So, what are the key differences between vegetarian and pescatarian diets?

The key difference between a vegetarian and a pescatarian diet is that a vegetarian diet does not allow for the consumption of meat, seafood, or poultry. Meals are primarily made up of vegetables and fruit. A pescatarian diet is similar to a vegetarian diet but includes seafood.

People following a pescatarian diet eat less meat, while those following a vegetarian diet eat no meat at all. However, there are different categories of vegetarians.

Three Main Differences Between A Vegetarian And Pescatarian Diet

The pescatarian diet and vegetarian diet are very similar in that they are both plant-based, however, there are some differences. 

1. Vegetarians Eat No Animal Flesh While Pescatarians Eat No Land Animals

The main difference between the two is that vegetarians do not eat the flesh of animals, while pescatarians include seafood in their diets. 

2. There Are Different Categories Of Vegetarian Diets

All vegetarians refrain from eating the flesh of all animals. However, some vegetarians refrain from eating certain animal products as well.

  • Lacto vegetarians – diet includes dairy products, like milk, butter, cheese and yogurt 
  • Ovo vegetarians – diet includes eggs
  • Lacto-Ovo – diet includes both eggs and dairy products

3. Pescatarians Have More Options When It Comes to Food Choices

Vegetarians do not eat any meat, including poultry, pork, and seafood; some vegetarians don’t eat eggs or dairy either. Pescatarians have far more variety in their diet as they eat all kinds of seafood, as well as dairy and eggs.

What Is Included In A Vegetarian Diet?

Depending on the category of vegetarian diet you follow, meals will be made up of vegetables, fruit, whole grains, legumes, beans, seeds and nuts, dairy, eggs and honey.

What Is Included In A Pescatarian Diet?

A pescatarian diet is very similar to a lacto-ovo vegetarian diet. Pescatarians do not eat any land animals, including poultry, pork, or beef. They do eat seafood, which includes fish, crab, lobster, shrimp, prawns, mussels, crayfish, and calamari.

Meals will be made up of vegetables, fruit, whole grains, legumes, beans, seeds and nuts, dairy, eggs, honey, and seafood.

Is A Pescatarian Diet Healthier Than A Vegetarian Diet?

list of clean fish

It is important to note that everyone is different. We all have different lifestyles, budgets, access to certain foods, and tolerance to different foods. Our bodies are different, too; some may be in optimal health on a certain diet, while others who follow the same diet may lack some nutrients. 

Both diets, vegetarian and pescatarian, are plant-based and have many health benefits. The main difference is that pescatarians eat seafood as well. Many people opt to follow a pescatarian diet rather than a strictly vegetarian diet because they have a wider variety of things to eat without compromising on the health benefits that come with having a vegetarian diet. 

Eating seafood has many health benefits. Most seafood is a rich source of Omega-3 and also contains protein and zinc. Those who want to cut down on meat find that it is easier to become a pescatarian rather than go on a vegetarian diet. Following a plant-based that includes seafood will lower your risk of nutritional deficiencies that you may have being a vegetarian.

It also depends on what sort of food within the diet, you eat. For example, if you follow a pescatarian diet and eat a lot of deep-fried fish, or if you follow avVegetarian diet, but most of your meals are made up of processed vegetarian products, that is not very healthy.

Regardless of what diet you follow, the most important this is that you make sure you are eating a balanced diet and include foods that will meet all your nutritional needs.

Do Pescatarians Call Themselves Vegetarians?

Have you ever heard someone say, ‘I’m vegetarian, but I eat chicken.’? You may silently think that they cannot then call themselves vegetarian; they should rather just say that they do not eat red meat. 

Vegetarians do not eat any animals. While pescatarians follow a predominantly plant-based diet, they do eat seafood, which includes fish, mussels, shrimp, prawns, calamari, lobster and crabs. These are all animals of the sea. For this reason, pescatarians cannot call themselves pescatarian.

Can Pescatarians Eat Eggs?

Pescatarians exclude meat and poultry from their diet, but most eat animal products, this includes eggs and dairy. 

To be very specific, you could call a pescatarian who eats eggs and dairy a lacto-Ovo pescatarian. But it isn’t really necessary since most pescatarians do eat eggs and dairy.

What’s The Difference Between a Pescatarian and Flexitarian? 

Ever toyed with the idea of becoming a vegetarian but felt daunted by committing to never eating a hamburger again? You’re not alone. The word was invented to encourage people to adopt a plant-based diet without being afraid of having to give up things that they enjoy forever. 

The word flexitarian is made up of the words flexible and vegetarian (and is usually adopted by climatarians, just to add another term in there). 

If you are a flexitarian, you follow a certain diet most of the time but are flexible. For example, you are a vegetarian except when you are invited to a barbecue. Or you are a vegan all year, except over Easter when you simply cannot resist all the chocolates around.

A pescatarian is someone who follows a plant-based, and seafood diet strictly and never eats meat or poultry. 


Vegetarian and pescatarian diets are both plant-based. The main difference is that pescatarians also eat seafood. Following these diets have many health benefits, provided that your meals are prepared in a healthy manner and balanced, feeding you with all the nutrition your body needs.