A recently published study indicates that eating a pescetarian diet may be a terrific move for reducing colorectal cancer risk.

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Go fishing to reduce colorectal cancer risk

Image Cooked Fish Image Cooked Fish Image Cooked Fish

Meatless meals anyone?

Health-wise, it is a really good idea to have at least a few meatless or vegetarian meals weekly. Pescetarianism is a form of a vegetarian diet that includes eggs and dairy, as well as fish – but no poultry, beef, pork or venison.

A recently published study indicates that eating a pescetarian diet may be a terrific move for reducing colorectal cancer risk.

The Loma Linda University seven-year study included more than 77,000 Seventh Day Adventists. Half of the study participants ate some type of vegetarian diet; 29 percent were lacto-ovo vegetarian, eating eggs and dairy foods; 10 percent were pescetarian; and 8 percent were vegans who excluded all animal products.

At the end of the study, researchers found that the pescetarians had a 43 percent lower risk for developing colorectal cancer, while the lacto-ovo vegetarians had an 18 percent lower risk, and the vegans had a 16 percent lower risk. 

The folks who ate vegetarian ate more plant foods, which offer protection from the hundreds of natural phytochemicals in plants. They also ate fewer fatty foods and processed snack foods.

This study is interesting because it addresses dietary ways to reduce risk for the second most deadly cancer in the United States: colorectal cancer.

Imagine that reducing risk might be as simple as eating a plant-based diet with more fish, and few heavily processed foods, as well as less meat.

Think fish when planning weekly menus. Ideas include:

  • Tuna salad sandwiches
  • Sardines on whole-grain crackers
  • Homemade salmon cakes
  • Fish chowder
  • Shrimp on the grill
  • Fish and garden-fresh vegetables packets

The ideas are endless and delicious.

Healthy pescetarian meal recipes:


About the Author

Rita Smith is a Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator. She's been working in the field of nutrition and disease prevention for more than 35 years and currently works at Martha Jefferson Hospital in Charlottesville, Va. Each week, Rita provides nutrition counseling to clients who have a variety of disorders or diseases including high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, celiac disease, irritable bowel syndrome, gastroparesis and weight management. For these clients, food choices can help them manage their health problems.


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