Ever wondered is fish meat or not? While it falls under the category of non-vegetarian items, why don’t people call it meat? You will be surprised to find out that this is a complicated question. There are several factors that determine the answer or the opinion you ultimately go with.
There has always been a debate about fish being meat and not being meat. But let us first go with what you feel. Social convention dictates that fish is not meat. But is it the same way you look at it? While vegans would never eat fish, there are vegetarians who consider fish veg.
While fish doesn’t taste anything remotely like beef, pork, chicken, or turkey, it has tasty fillets. Numerous factors like preferences, nutritional choices, religious guidelines, and health restrictions segregate and categorize fish.
Let’s find out if fish is considered meat and, if yes, under what categories. By the end of this article, you will have all your answers!
Table of Contents
Is fish meat according to religion
The world has been divided into different religious beliefs. Each of these has separate food traditions and dietary restrictions to follow. Would you be surprised to know that the answer to “is fish meat” depends on your faith?
Every Christian belongs to a certain sect and believes differ accordingly. Let us look at some of the rituals Christians follow:
Christians who follow a strict routine during Lent avoid certain luxuries to humble themselves down. It happens every year from March to April to remember the sacrifice of Lord Jesus.
The routine differs from one another, but involves consumption habits. For example, many quit alcohol consumption while others give up on their favorite food.
During the Roman period, the Lenten diet skipped the usage of meat but included fish and vegetables. Meat was considered luxury and consumed by the elites, while fish and vegetables was consumed by all.
Many people around the world still follow this and omit meat from their meals for 40 days. They have a hearty meal on Easter Sunday, or the day of Resurrection.
Seventh-Day Adventists avoid eating fish, pork, poultry, and restrict alcohol consumption. Though it is common to have eggs, milk, and other dairy products.
Eastern Orthodox Christians
Under this sect of Christianity, weekly fasts restrict exclude dairy, eggs, alcohol, meat, fish, and olive oil.
Buddhism is a very strict and stringent religion. The monk life comes with a lot of sacrifices and disciplinary life. Buddhists are Lacto-vegetarians, meaning you can have animal products but not meat. However, the Theravada group in Buddhism consume pork, chicken, and fish as they wish. However, this is devoid of animal slaughter.
Under the Islamic religion, one of the most essential and standard practices is consuming meat only when it is halal. So, they can only consume kosher foods. Alcohol prohibition lies through both Islamic sects of Shia and Sunni.
Hinduism is vast and diverse. Some groups do not touch meat of any kind. Some people eat meat, poultry, fish, and eggs. While some are Lacto-vegetarians, and restrict themselves to only plant-based food options.
Facts about fish meat
Let’s find some of the most interesting facts about fish meat in the below points:
Did you know that fish meat or any animal meat is muscle tissue? It comprises 75% water, 5% carbohydrates and fat, and 20% protein.
All that protein that you intake from this meat is only muscle. These muscles have cell bundles known as fiber. Every cell includes filaments consisting of two types of protein, myosin, and actin.
The different kinds of meat, pig, cow, turkey, beef, and fish, are the concentrated origin of protein, cholesterol, fats, calories, and other micronutrients and vitamins.
It has a significant volume of vitamin B complex and other vitamins like niacin, riboflavin, other minerals, and iron. Fish includes fiber and calcium unlike other meat types.
Like all other animals
Fishes swim, digest, eat, see, breathe, bleed, and live. Each person’s choice and preference decide whether fish is meat or not.
If someone told you fish aren’t red-blooded animals, then they are entirely wrong. Fish are red-blooded. Similar to snakes, frogs and alligators are all cold-blooded.
Usage for consumption
The most fun fact is that fish is the type of meat that can be consumed entirely. It means you can eat the entire animal without any leftovers.
What’s in the name?
There is no separate name for fish meat, like pork or beef.
You can also make a dessert made of fish meat! Isn’t that crazy?
Healthiest meat protein
Compared to all the other types of meat available, fish are the healthiest among all.
Is fish meat or not
To differentiate whether fish is meat or not is quite problematic. But if you have to differentiate, let’s see the below points:
Fish is seafood
Fish and other kinds of meat have moisture and proteins. But meat is commonly called for all types of animal flesh, like cattle, pigs, lambs, etc.
It includes skeletal muscles along with other tissues and fat of animals. However, people consider fish as seafood and does not have any separate name for its flesh. Under the seafood category, it also includes shellfish like crustaceans, mollusks, and echinoderms.
Be it fish or any other meat, both have great sources of protein and iron and are considered to be a significant part of a healthy meal. Both have nutrients, but fish is way better than other meat sources because meat has high-fat content compared to fish.
Great source for Omega-3 fatty
Fish is the treasure of Omega-3 fatty and other essential minerals like iodine, potassium, zinc, etc. Apart from helping in your diet, fishes also help in preventing heart attacks and reducing blood pressure.
It also has properties that will help keep the heart and brain healthy. It consists of all essential nutrients which keep the brain and heart healthy.
Fish could also be a part of your daily meals. Now talking about meat like pork, beef, etc., it has vitamins like phosphorus, B12, etc. However, consumption is best when limited as they have high saturated fats. Meat is protein but requires controlled consumption.
Did you know you can eat raw fish? But in the case of meat, it has to be processed, seasoned, and cooked before consumption. In the case of fish, just clean it meticulously, and you’re good to go. However, if this is not a part of your culture, you might refrain from it.
Sushi and sashimi are dishes that involve raw fish for consumption. However, the fillet goes through processes before going into your plate.
Benefits of eating fish meat
Here are reasons you can eat fish meat if you want to avoid other forms of meat:
Boosting nutrient intake
It would be best if you eat the fish with its skin. This will help you in consuming all the nutrients possible. Most of the key nutrients are present in its skin. The most beneficial nutrient is present under the flesh, which is the mucus.
Supporting skin health
Want spotless and flawless skin? Start eating fish on a regular basis to see a difference. Fish is a fantastic source of vitamin E and collagen, which contributes to healthy-looking skin.
You would have studied that collagen can help in improving skin by fighting wrinkles and hydrating it.
Collagen is present in every part of the fish and in all types. There is no specific fish that you have to eat to get the benefits. But vitamin E is mainly found in trout and salmon.
Vitamin E is essential to protect the skin against UV rays and also prevent eczema.
Rich in fatty acids
When you consume fatty fishes like salmon, it offers you the goodness of Omega-3 acids. The nutrient supports healthy pregnancies, heart protection, reduce brain diseases, and keeps your hair voluminous.
Best protein option
As you know, fish is essential for completing dietary protein. Protein contributes to reaching the optimal health level by preventing and reducing certain disorders.
For example, swelling of the body parts, stunted growth, or inadequate iron levels. Fish skin’s mucus is also considered to have properties that enhance immunity.
Is fish meat safe for all?
Though consuming fish is healthy, there are certain risks associated with it. PCBs or polychlorinated biphenyls are harmful chemicals that may be present in water or the air.
Now mercury and PCBs can grow in fish as well. The worst part is you can never know the amount of toxins present in the fish. Hence it’s always better to have control over what you eat and how much.
Consumption of mercury or PCBs has significant effects on your health. Let’s see what those are:
Consumption of fish may trigger asthma and even prostate cancer if the quantity is not monitored.
Mercury is always linked to restricting brain development and other mental health issues. It may affect your behavior along with the functioning of your brain. Too much mercury may also affect your nervous system.
Risk of miscarriage
If you are pregnant or a lactating mother, it is essential that you keep track of your fish intake. As too much fish can harm the infant’s health and its development, even in the womb. There are certain types that are considered to be great while pregnant, such the low-mercury fish like sardines, salmon, and trout.
Is fish meat under the food pyramid?
With time the food pyramid has evolved. If you are aware of the food wheel, used before the pyramid, the protein-rich items came together. For example, fish, meat, eggs, poultry, nuts, beans, etc. were in the same section.
As the food pyramid changed, it had similar categorization. But with time, there are no specific sources mentioned as protein in the food pyramid.
Since nowadays you are more knowledgeable about nutrition and health benefits, no specification is required.
There are even more options available for your daily protein intake.
Top 5 fishes that are high in nutrients
Well, is fish meat or not isn’t the question anymore. Fish is good for your body. Fatty fishes or oily fishes are filled with Omega 3.
The fatty acids present in fishes has good fats, which is necessary for your body.
As discussed, it provides amazing health benefits, which improve the functioning of your body. But do not get overboard with this. Overdose of fatty fish can cause plaque development in the arteries.
If you want to go for leaner fish options, which have low fat, you can choose catfish, cod, etc.
Let’s see what are the top 5 fishes you must have:
These are high in Omega 3 but could be a twisty choice as you may or may not like it.
Salmons are the stars among the healthy fish category. These fishes are high in Omega 3 and great for nursing and pregnant woman. But as you know, make sure you monitor the quantity.
Tunas are an amazing source get your nutrient intake. But you must have it only a maximum of twice a week.
Want to try shellfish? Just go for it!
These fishes are an amazing switch for your tuna sandwich. Try it yourself!
As you have come to the end of this article, what do you think? Is fish meat? Well, it doesn’t matter, considering fish meat as meat is totally dependent on person to person.
It is yummy, and it is good for you, so dig in!