Many people, including vegetarians and those with other types of diets, often wonder: is fish meat? Some people say that fish is meat, but other people note that meat can be classified in various different ways. Considering the multitude of varying nutritional and dietary needs and even religious standards surrounding people’s diets, the answer to the question is a bit complex. Whether you’re a vegetarian wondering how to keep your diet within a certain parameter or anyone else pondering this question to themselves, our Calabash Seafood restaurant in Raleigh is breaking down this topic in more detail here. 

Let’s Dig Deeper on the “Is Fish Meat?” Debate

Religious Conceptions of Meat

Various religious practices have their own classifications for meat and whether or not fish itself falls into the meat category. Here are some examples:

  • Jewish religion considers fish which have scales and fins to be a food product that is neither dairy or meat.
  • A large number of Hindus eat a lacto-ovo vegetarian diet, which excludes birds, fish, and meat, but can include some products from animals like dairy and eggs.
  • During the celebration of Lent, many Catholics do not eat meat on Fridays. But in this faith, only warm-blooded animals are classified as meat, so fish, a cold-blooded animal, is allowed to be eaten.

Definitions of Meat on a Broad Scale

Square one is defining what meat is and like we just said, there are many different factors that play into an individual’s definition.

A dictionary will say that meat is “the flesh of animals which is consumed as food.” This definition would make fish meat. But beyond that, some people define meat as flesh from only warm-blooded animals like birds, pigs, sheep, chickens and cows. 

Since fish are cold-blooded creatures, they would not fall into the meat category within this definition. Even further, some people claim meat only comes from mammals which are covered in fur, excluding animals such as fish and chicken for example.

How Does Red Meat and Fish Affect Your Health?

This section doesn’t really answer the “is fish meat” debate, but we think it’s useful to know a bit more about the nutritional aspects overall. When you compare fish to other types of meat, the nutritional makeup and possible health benefits can be noticeably different. Here’s a brief overview of nutritional aspects:

  • Fish is a good source of iodine, thiamine, selenium and omega-3 fatty acids
  • Red meat contains high quantities of zinc, iron, niacin, and saturated fat

Regular fish consumption may provide some benefits to your health. In a study that included 84,000 women over a 26 year period,  it was discovered that higher risk of heart disease was linked to red meat consumption. On the other hand those in the study who consumed fish, poultry, and nuts were associated with lower risk of heart disease. 

Consuming fish has also been linked to boosting HDL cholesterol, or good cholesterol levels.

So Is Fish Meat or What?

At the end of the day, the answer to that question really depends on you!  It can be particularly important for those wanting to follow a vegetarian diet to have a clear answer, but with so many varying types of diets, religious beliefs, and nutritional needs, whether or not you consider fish to be meat boils down to your specific lifestyle.

Including Fish in Your Diet? Enjoy Our Raleigh Seafood Restaurant!

If you decide that fish is right for your personal diet we invite you to enjoy our delicious dishes at our Calabash Seafood restaurant in Raleigh. We have been serving up various types of tasty fish and shellfish on our menu for over 30 years and people are always coming back for more! Order online here today and our team will get started on your scrumptious meal.