3

votes

Only fish as meat

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created February 13, 2011 at 11:27 PM

Can I consider myself a "Paleo" if I only eat wild fish instead of other lean meats? I eat fish almost twice a day. Mainly sardines and hakes. Any issue?

07ca188c8dac3a17f629dd87198d2098

(7970)

on April 21, 2011
at 01:40 AM

I read that as "strongly inhibits clothing".

B124653b19ee9dd438710a38954ed4a3

(1634)

on March 25, 2011
at 10:45 PM

Sardines are a fatty fish. So all the talk of not going low-fat might not be valid for Alexandre.

7c068e0afd33ae34618499578444a5e1

on February 15, 2011
at 01:34 AM

I'm runner and the best thing about this diet is that I'm never hungry and I don't need to eat carbs during the run. All I need is some water. Thank you!

7c068e0afd33ae34618499578444a5e1

on February 15, 2011
at 01:31 AM

Thank you very much!

7c068e0afd33ae34618499578444a5e1

on February 15, 2011
at 01:29 AM

I can't believe it!

7c068e0afd33ae34618499578444a5e1

on February 15, 2011
at 01:28 AM

Indeed! Thank you.

7c068e0afd33ae34618499578444a5e1

on February 15, 2011
at 01:28 AM

Thank you! I try different fish every week, always wild fish, so I think I can get a wide variety of different micronutrients only from fish and shellfish, not forgetting the vegetables and fruits.

7c068e0afd33ae34618499578444a5e1

on February 15, 2011
at 01:21 AM

I wouldn't say it is sustainable at all. I do have to go very often to the market and it isn't cheap, too. You're right, I'm the kind of person who is very concerned if the food I eat is the healthier option. It's not a easy job. Thank you!

7c068e0afd33ae34618499578444a5e1

on February 15, 2011
at 01:14 AM

Thank you very much!

7c068e0afd33ae34618499578444a5e1

on February 15, 2011
at 01:13 AM

Thank you. I eat only fish because I can't find meat free of antibiotics where I live.

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10 Answers

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3
F9a0b72f38860d7601afd5a45bb53394

(3618)

on February 14, 2011
at 12:53 AM

Instead of other lean meats? Across the animal kingdom, vertebrate carnivores (obligate or otherwise) go for the fatty bits and the organs. Even high-carb-eating indigenous cultures such as the Kitavans love their fat, but they get it from coconuts mainly. (Fatty fish tend to be found in cold waters, while warm-water fish tend to be leaner--probably there are exceptions to that rule, I'm speaking generally.)

We have quite the short GI tract for the size of our brains and we can't afford to tie up digestion with stuff that we're not going to get a lot of energy payload from it, too much carb not backed by fat causes blood sugar issues and too much protein not backed by fat causes rabbit starvation.

You can see a pattern here.

Relying solely on fish for animal protein is technically Paleo in the sense that Paleo people would have relied on it if they lived by the sea and there weren't a lot of large land-based prey animals nearby. But in a situation like that they'd probably catch whatever they could catch and gather whatever critters they could gather--birds and eggs and shellfish along with the vertebrate fish. You get a better fatty acid balance that way and you don't over-rely on any one food source--which is a habit more typically practiced by Neolithic people and later, which is why famine is a typical feature of sedentary agricultural societies, but not typical of foragers.

It's up to you--if the idea of eating land vertebrates really offends you but you don't have a problem with fish, go for it. Still, balance it out with something. Increase your coconut oil intake if nothing else. I know Cordain says Paleo people ate low-fat, but he's full of it. Where "primitives" can get fat, they do--even the Kitavans.

7c068e0afd33ae34618499578444a5e1

on February 15, 2011
at 01:13 AM

Thank you. I eat only fish because I can't find meat free of antibiotics where I live.

B124653b19ee9dd438710a38954ed4a3

(1634)

on March 25, 2011
at 10:45 PM

Sardines are a fatty fish. So all the talk of not going low-fat might not be valid for Alexandre.

best answer

1
55179539f4b916555b8ba813dd27cf5c

on February 14, 2011
at 10:48 AM

Fish are great! However, Paleo principles suggest that because of the changes that have occurred in our food production systems, we have moved away from fatty acid ratios in our animal products thought to be optimal for human health. This is the same for fish, where many studies have suggested that wild-caught fish contain a ratio of fatty acids thought to be more beneficial to human health when compared to cultured fish.

Data from Weaver et al. (2008) "reveal that marked changes in the fishing industry during the past decade have produced widely eaten fish that have fatty acid characteristics that are generally accepted to be inflammatory by the health care community". http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18589026

Other studies have looked at discrepancies between wild-caught and cultured fish, for example Van Vliet et al. (1990) - "Hunted fish are a better source of n-3 polyunsaturates than are cultured fish." (http://www.ajcn.org/content/51/1/1.short).

Some believe that the kind of fish (e.g. fatty fish such as Atlantic salmon vs. non-fatty fish such as ling) are more important if you are concerned about increasing the fat content of your diet, which also makes sense...(Soltan and Gibson 2008 - http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18818157)

So lots to consider...but in the end fish are a really great source of protein (and fat) in my opinion.

7c068e0afd33ae34618499578444a5e1

on February 15, 2011
at 01:14 AM

Thank you very much!

2
39a1a0bc7855c084ac59df60fdf9c0dd

(1505)

on February 14, 2011
at 06:57 PM

I would make just two quick comments: First, I'd be concerned about whether you're getting enough saturated fat in your diet - not only because you eat a lot of fish, but also because you stick with "lean meats." I think SF is healthy and promotes satiety, and I believe getting getting a goodly amount is important for any number of reasons (though there are other sources of SF, especially coconut milk and coconut oil).

Second, I'd ask if you think eating largely fish is sustainable over the long haul? Perhaps it is for you, but most folks I know need some variety to stick with Paleo or any other way of eating. I've had trouble in the past - and ended up blowing it and ending up worse than before - when I tried limiting myself to only a few, "healthy" types of food.

7c068e0afd33ae34618499578444a5e1

on February 15, 2011
at 01:21 AM

I wouldn't say it is sustainable at all. I do have to go very often to the market and it isn't cheap, too. You're right, I'm the kind of person who is very concerned if the food I eat is the healthier option. It's not a easy job. Thank you!

1
Be1dbd31e4a3fccd4394494aa5db256d

(17969)

on April 21, 2011
at 03:56 AM

I did the Kitavan thing for a while. Lots of fish, sweet potato and coconut amongst other thinggs but when I added in some meat it was literal euphoria the first couple of times. I had better energy too. There is stuff in terrestrial animals that can't be found in significant quantities in fish. CLA, carnitine, carnosene, etc. It's just better to diversify.

1
E35e3d76547b18096a59c90029e7e107

(15613)

on February 14, 2011
at 07:32 PM

I'd say there's no problem at all. The idea that fish is too lean isn't even a slight problem, since there's no reason why you can't simply add extra fat. I certainly can't get enough fat from eating my own relatively fatty red meat and so have to add extra fat anyway. In any case, I think the added fat (butter) is quite a bit better than the fat from the meat anyway (or ghee, if you're a purist), so lean meat + added fat might well be preferred. Nor do I think the absence of saturated fat from fish, is anything to think about for the same reason (and sardines do contain a reasonable amount of fat anyway). Nor is excess omega-3 anything to worry about. Even eating only salmon, for protein, you're only going to get about 12g of omega-3 so around 4% of calories from PUFA (assuming 120g of protein and 2500 calories). So all in all, I don't think the fat issue is worth considering.

What is worth contemplating, is I think lack of micronutrients on an all fish diet. Whole fish like sardines are very nutritious (beating muscle meat in some respects), but will still lack- for example- zinc, compared to red meat. Eating only salmon fillets would be alright, but not quite as good as sardines and eating non-oily, white fish (the chicken of the fish world) would be even worse. This is presumably why the kitavans, having gotten their very small amount of protein from fish, get almost all the rest of their calories from sweet potato, rather than fat, in order to provide the bulk of their micronutrition. I wouldn't recommend eating just a salmon fillet and butter/beef tallow diet, since that would leave you lacking lots of micronutrients. If you're getting enough nutrients from other sources though, then there's no need to worry.

7c068e0afd33ae34618499578444a5e1

on February 15, 2011
at 01:28 AM

Thank you! I try different fish every week, always wild fish, so I think I can get a wide variety of different micronutrients only from fish and shellfish, not forgetting the vegetables and fruits.

0
05055dcbf12c81f1cce777ec365870af

(1791)

on April 20, 2011
at 10:45 PM

if you are interested in health, and not just morals/ethics/taste or some other goal - then get your urine toxic metals test taken. see how high your mercury is. do you have any amalgam fillings? try a week of no fish and see how you feel. try a week of half fish half something else, see how you feel. personally i feel better having given up fish, although it could be more that the price and perceived hassle of cooking whole fish (head and bones included) was annoying to me. i believe eating fish muscle meat only can lead to deficiencies. also some people react negatively to the iodine.

0
C22b71e29cc2d4019e31cc41b9322edd

(185)

on February 14, 2011
at 01:30 AM

Sure, you can definitely eat paleo as a pesce-vegetarian. I eat fish and other seafood as my protein source and am paleo zone eater. I have tons of energy as a crossfitter and a cyclist. There is a ton of variety of fish and shellfish, many with plenty of fats to balance the protein it provides. I say go for it and see how it works for you. I haven't had any issues with it inhibit clotting, and all my blood tests come back very normal from regular physicals. Depending upon your goals (lose weight, lean out/drop body fat, build muscle, perform better, recovery faster, etc), as I see it, you can adjust the volumes of fat, carbohydrates and the plethora of seafood available to you to manage reach them effectively.

7c068e0afd33ae34618499578444a5e1

on February 15, 2011
at 01:34 AM

I'm runner and the best thing about this diet is that I'm never hungry and I don't need to eat carbs during the run. All I need is some water. Thank you!

0
62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on February 14, 2011
at 12:58 AM

Some fish are fairly high in fat. Those tend to be the fish that taste better. If you also obtain fats from coconut and other healthful locations, then you could still be getting plenty of healthful fat. There are some cultures that do well on mostly fish as the protein source. Should be fine if the fish are not loaded with toxins. Also probably best to target eating very fresh fish if possible. And although I don't personally think there is an obvious magical dividing line between the paleo and nonpaleo eaters, I would say you are paleo and that such a diet could be quite healthful if done properly.

7c068e0afd33ae34618499578444a5e1

on February 15, 2011
at 01:31 AM

Thank you very much!

0
E4b155f898e209391902792ec3c005f3

(220)

on February 14, 2011
at 12:04 AM

You will definitely be a Paleo if you eat only wild fish. I would not call those lean meats because they are good oily fish. I wish I could afford to eat fish all the time. Sad that I live in Hawaii and imported chicken and pork is the cheapest protein.

7c068e0afd33ae34618499578444a5e1

on February 15, 2011
at 01:29 AM

I can't believe it!

0
Cab7e4ef73c5d7d7a77e1c3d7f5773a1

(7304)

on February 13, 2011
at 11:31 PM

Yes, you are technically paleo. There are problems with too much omega 3 though. It is highly oxidizable, for one, and it also strongly inhibits clotting. Too much of anything is not good.

7c068e0afd33ae34618499578444a5e1

on February 15, 2011
at 01:28 AM

Indeed! Thank you.

07ca188c8dac3a17f629dd87198d2098

(7970)

on April 21, 2011
at 01:40 AM

I read that as "strongly inhibits clothing".

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