Is fish healthier than meat?

In life, there are omnivores, vegetarians, vegans and pescatarians (and flexitarians). 

Growing up Portuguese, whenever Easter would come around, there would be this rule where we shouldn’t eat meat, so we’d eat fish instead. 

This was just normal to me, to the point where I once thought vegetarians casually eat fish. That being said, fish was always seen as the healthier option to me, if I was to compare it to meat, like chicken, beef or pork. 

But is it really healthier? This post is going to cover the topic of whether or not fish is a healthier option than meat, or if it’s just an old wive’s tail. 

Disclaimer: This is purely for informative purposes, we do not promote the eating of any animal products on

Is fish nutritious?

Fish is notoriously eaten and known as a great source of protein. Also known to be rich in nutrients such as potassium, vitamin D, copper, and omega-3 fatty acids, essential for the body to run smoothly. 

However, that nutritional value doesn’t come without a price, in fact, there is actually more of an incentive not to eat fish. 

Why eating fish isn’t healthy

Eating fish on a regular basis can be a bad decision, for a few reasons, from how it digests in the body, and other factors. We’ll cover some of them below.

Heavy metals when consuming fish

Nutrients that are promised when consuming fish could be virtually pointless with the amount of heavy metals present in the average fish-based food. 

Toxic metals such as lead, mercury and arsenic can find their way into your body, and if you consume too much, it can also harm the body. These heavy metals are accumulated over time by fish via their gills, as well as their feeding. 

Fish and digestion

Like meat, fish takes a minimum of 2 days to fully digest, putting a lot of strain on the body to process it fully. Have you ever had the displeasure of smelling rancid fish? 

Leave one in the sun for a day and you can recreate that. Now imagine that in your body and the digestive system, you might reconsider eating fish if so. 


As plastic waste is an ever growing problem, this leads to secondary consequences as a result. Fish doesn’t only contain heavy metals, but also a lot of micro plastics, due to them accidentally consuming them when eating and through their gills (when breathing). 

Microplastics in the human body has been reported to negatively affect reproduction, as well as cause DNA damage and many more harmful effects. 


The number one reason why I don’t eat fish is because of the parasites present in the flesh. 

Now to clarify, we all have parasites in our bodies. They’re the reason why we crave that unhealthy food every so often, and naturally accumulate with time if you’re not careful. 

However, the parasites in fish can be really concerning if they make it to your body. These include roundworms, tapeworms and flatworms, which if not properly under control, can lead to organ, tissue damage and cysts in your digestive tract.

Is it still better than meat?

Considering these risks, fish may not be that much more safe to eat than meat. I guess it depends how you look at it, you can consume it for the nutrients, prepared correctly, and you have a nutritious source of protein that might be a little better than meat. 

But why take the risk? There is a lot of opportunity to get all you nutrients without risking your health when you don’t have to. 

Is fish more sustainable than meat consumption?

Let’s put it this way: up to 40% of fish is caught unintentionally, the amount that are killed for food hit the 100s of billions, and sources believe that the world will run out of fish by 2048. 

In terms of sustainability in its most basic definition of the word, fish and the food industry, for a population of our size, just doesn’t make sense. 

Is fish better than meat?

In some senses, maybe, but all in all, you don’t need to eat fish to stay nourished. For your iodine, there is an array of plant-based sources that don’t affect the body as negatively. 

Options for omega-3 and copper can be found in our vegan nutrition section. 

We hope you enjoyed this post on whether fish is healthy, I hope this gave you valuable insight and motivation to explore non-fish-based foods for the good of the world. 

Thanks for considering Veganising it for your lifestyle inspiration, be sure to share with a friend if this post sparked your interest; stay blessed.