A new year brings with it new health and wellness trends and it seems there’s a new buzzword to keep an eye out for - the seagan diet. Picture: Pexels/Larissa Deruzzi
A new year brings with it new health and wellness trends and it seems there’s a new buzzword to keep an eye out for - the seagan diet. Picture: Pexels/Larissa Deruzzi

What's the seagan diet and is it worth trying?

By Lutho Pasiya Time of article published Aug 23, 2021

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A new year brings with it new health trends and it seems there’s a new buzzword to keep an eye out for - the seagan diet.

Let’s face it: In some way, shape, or form, we all want better health. Whether it’s trying a new workout plan, attempting to follow a good diet, or eliminating stress, chances are you’ve hopped on one bandwagon or another to improve your mind, body or spirit.

According to the World Health Organization, what you eat determines your overall health more than anything else, and a plant-based diet is the best way to prevent chronic disease.

In other words, if you want to live a long, healthy life, you might want to consider veganism. Experts reveal that veganism has been shown to promote weight loss, improve sleep and skin, and could save the planet. But what about seafood BBQ, and tasty fish tacos?

What is a seagan or a seagan diet?

A seagan is someone who follows a diet that is an altered version of both the pescatarian and plant-based (traditionally viewed as vegan) diets. As a seagan, you choose to remove land animals and their bi-products from your diet. If you follow the vegan diet and choose to occasionally enjoy sustainable seafood, you would be considered a seagan.

The seagan diet isn't exactly new. The term showed up on Urban Dictionary all the way back in 2007, and you can bet that even before that, there were some people who ate a plant-based diet that also included seafood - even if they didn't actually describe their diet as seagan. But today seaganism is poised as the next big thing.

Speaking to Tammy Fry, the global brand leader for The Fry Family Food Co, she said they are most definitely aware of the growing demand for plant-based seafood, and to be honest, she had not heard of the term ‘seagan’ before but it’s wonderfully descriptive. Fry said if you love fish then she wants to challenge you to give the plant-based alternatives a go.

“I think you will be very pleasantly surprised. There are also undeniable health benefits. Many fish species are prone to the bioaccumulation of toxins found in our water supply. Fish have also become mercury sponges. As the mercury emissions in our air increase and are washed into our water supplies, the level of mercury, particularly in larger fish, has risen to unhealthy levels.

“Certain fish are also very high in saturated fat and cholesterol. If you choose quality alternatives, made from quality plant-proteins that are non-GM then you are eating something that is not only better for you, but better for the planet too. If people are keen to give alternatives a go, John Dory’s have yummy plant-based sushi, tacos, and poke bowl options on their menu,” she said.

Fry said plant-based fish and shellfish, like all plant-based alternatives, have seen strong growth over the last couple of years. Both in demand and in the number of products.

“There are some incredible options available nowadays. More recently we watched a radical shift in the wake of the release of Seaspiracy on Netflix. Consumers are understanding more and more what impact the mass commercialisation of fishing has done on the oceans. They’re asking the hard questions and when they don’t get satisfactory answers, they are looking for alternatives,” she said.

Are there any negatives to a seagan diet?

In their cookbook titled Seagan Eating, authors Amy Cramer and Lisa McComsey encourage seagans to consider sustainability. They say that steer clear of fish containing high levels of mercury or polychlorinated biphenyls – as a general rule, the lower a fish is on the food chain, the less mercury it’s likely to have. They recommend sticking to fish such as sardines, domestic crab, haddock, farmed rainbow trout, shellfish, Arctic char, black cod, and Pacific wild-caught salmon.

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