A lot of people think that to properly follow a keto diet, you need to eat meat. Meat is nutrient-dense, low-carb, and delicious. That’s a fact. However, meat does not sit well with some people for personal reasons. That’s another fact.
If you’re deciding to go meat-free on keto but want more flexibility than eating just low-carb vegetables and fruits all year round, a pescatarian keto diet might be the right option for you. This way of eating will put you in ketosis when done right.
Learn what the pescatarian keto diet is, some of its benefits, and a list of foods and meal ideas to kickstart your journey.
What is Pescatarian Keto?
The pescatarian keto diet is a sub-diet or variation of the standard keto diet. With that, your diet consists of fish, other types of seafood, vegetables, and fruits. Fun fact: The term “pescatarian” comes from the words “pesce” which means fish, and “vegetarian.”
As a general rule, choose only pescatarian foods that are very low in carbohydrates. Limit your daily total carbs to only 20-50 grams. Like all variations of keto, avoid grains and high-carb processed foods.
Thankfully, most fish and seafood contain just a small number of carbs to zero carbs for a 4 oz (or 113 grams) serving. The best low-carb veggies are those that grow above the ground such as leafy greens.
Sometimes, you can eat eggs and dairy products as a healthy way to add more variation to your diet. I also think that on days when you don’t have seafood in the fridge, eggs are a cheap alternative to get protein and fat!
Why go pescatarian on keto?
One thing is for sure – that this keto diet variation will help you enter and maintain nutritional ketosis. This is especially important if you’re using this metabolic state for health and fitness reasons. Read this article for more information on ketosis.
Some people choose to follow a pescatarian diet for ethical reasons as well – like opposing meat slaughter. Or maybe you’d just like to try something new and experience its unique effects on your body!
(I’ve done variations of the keto diet and based on experience, I find that my body tolerates and responds well to some foods than others. What I’m saying is, go ahead and experiment.)
Pescatarian Keto Food List
A keto diet for pescatarians includes the following foods. Check out their total carb count per 4 oz serving below. I’ve taken the details for “Fish” and “Seafood” from Maria Emmerich’s The Carnivore Cookbook.
You may also notice that “Fruits and vegetables” and “Nuts and seeds” have a higher total carb count. That’s because they contain dietary fiber which is counted in the total carbs. Dietary fiber cannot be digested by your body and will not impact your blood sugar. You can research the net carbs of these plant-based foods individually.
- Sardines – 0g
- Tuna (yellowfin) – 0g
- Tuna (canned) – 0g
- Salmon – 0g
- Anchovies – 0g
- Mackerel – 0g
- Swordfish – 0g
- Sea bass – 0g
- Herring – 0g
- Flounder – 0g
- Tilapia – 0g
- Cod – 0g
- Trout – 0g
- Lobster – 0g
- Crab – 0g
- Shrimp – 0.23g
- Sea urchin – 3.9g
- Squid – 4g
- Octopus – 5g
- Oysters – 5.6g
- Clams – 6.7g
- Mussels – 8.38g
Fruits and vegetables:
- Lettuce – 3.3g
- Zucchini – 3.5g
- Spinach – 4.1g
- Cucumber – 4.12g
- Asparagus – 4.4g
- Tomatoes – 4.4g
- Strawberries – 9g
- Avocados – 10g
- Raspberries – 14g
Eggs and dairy:
- Butter – 0.1g
- Eggs – 1.2g
- Cheddar cheese – 1.6g
- Heavy whipping cream – 3.16g
- Sour cream – 3.3g
- Greek yogurt – 4.1g
- Parmesan cheese – 4.8g
Nuts and seeds:
- Hemp seeds – 7.6g
- Pecans – 15.6g
- Walnuts – 15.6g
- Almonds – 22.39g
- Flaxseed – 33g
- Cashews – 36g
With the list above, you can see that there are lots of nutritious options to enjoy when on a pescatarian keto diet. Below, you’ll find popular and easy pescatarian keto meals that will fill your week with deliciousness.
Pescatarian Keto Meal Plan
I’ve created this section to give you ideas on what to cook for the entire week. I hope this will motivate you to stick and succeed with this way of eating.
- Breakfast: Cheese omelette
- Lunch: Fried salmon with asparagus
- Snack: Parmesan chips
- Dinner: Tomato stew with calamari
- Breakfast: Tuna stuffed avocado
- Lunch: Seafood soup with garlic mayo
- Snack: Kale chips
- Dinner: Smoked mussels casserole
- Breakfast: Deviled eggs with shrimp/salmon
- Lunch: Green beans and avocado
- Snack: Cloud bread
- Dinner: Shrimp skewers
- Breakfast: Cottage cheese breakfast bowl
- Lunch: Tuna burgers
- Snack: Lemon cheesecake cookies
- Dinner: Scallops parmesan
- Breakfast: Fried eggs and veggies
- Lunch: Zucchini noodles with crab
- Snack: Tuna and avocado salad
- Dinner: Lobster bisque
- Breakfast: Scrambled eggs in a mug
- Lunch: Thai fish curry
- Snack: Sesame bread
- Dinner: Tuna salad with boiled eggs
- Breakfast: English muffins
- Lunch: Spanish garlic shrimp
- Snack: Keto strawberries and cream
- Dinner: Smoked mussels plate
These are just some ideas to get you started. At times when you’re too busy, you can try canned seafood. When I have that, I usually eat it with boiled eggs for a more satisfying meal.
Storage Tip: Based on experience, fish and seafood tend to spoil more quickly. If you’re buying a big batch, I recommend storing them in the freezer at 40°F or lower. And if you’re going to do batch cooking for the entire week, also keep your meals in the freezer.
To defrost, place the raw fish/seafood or cooked meal at the bottom of the fridge overnight.
Download this Pescatarian Keto Meal Plan PDF
Did you like the free pescatarian keto meal plan ideas above? Click here or the image below to get the 7-day meal plan in a printable PDF format.