Intermittent fasting is old news, we just about got our heads around the planetary diet, and now there is a new diet on the block: the seagan diet! But is it just a fad or could it also come with health benefits? To help you understand the seagan diet once and for all, here is a comprehensive guide to the diet as well as the health benefits and factors you should consider while on the diet!
What is the seagan diet?
Created by previous vegans and authors - Amy Cramer and Lisa McComsey - the Seagan diet follows the same principles as a vegan diet, but with one key addition: seafood (two or three times a week)! This diet is perfect for those who want to take the vegan plunge to reduce their meat consumption, but are struggling to go the whole-hog. The authors also argue that just as they went vegan for health reasons, they also converted to seaganism for health reasons.
What is the difference between seaganism and pescatarian?
Pescatarians consume a vegetarian diet (including dairy and eggs), with the addition of fish. On the other hand, the seagan diet is a vegan diet which incorporates seafood (and not dairy and eggs). Thus, the seagan diet is perfect for people who follow a dairy-free diet too.
What are the benefits of seaganism?
The health benefits of including more plant-based food within our diet is well-known, however the seagan diet has additional benefits which comes with fish, including high quality protein and a rich source omega 3 fats. Omega 3 fats support cardiovascular health as well as brain and skin health. What’s more is that fish is a source of vitamin B12 which would otherwise be lacking in a vegan diet. As fish is low in saturated fats, the seagan diet is also extremely heart-friendly.
What considerations must be made when on the seagan diet?
When including fish within your diet, balance is key. Overconsumption of large oily fish such as sea bass or even fresh tuna can lead to a high intake of mercury which may have adverse effects on health, particularly in women of child bearing age. The government currently recommend we consume two portions of fish a week, one of which is oily. White fish is safer to consume on a more regular basis due to their lower levels of mercury.
Lastly, as this diet excludes dairy products, ensuring that sufficient intakes of calcium and B12 are included will be essential. If using plant-based milks, check that they are fortified with these critical nutrients. Focus on calcium rich dark green leafy veg, tofu, tahini and pulses.
By Leading London Nutritionist, Lily Soutter BSc (Hons) Food & Human Nutrition, Dip NT