Get access to everything we publish when you sign up for Outside+.
Amy Cramer and Lisa McComsey began their vegan journey in order to get healthy. Both women followed the diet for years, even writing a book called The Vegan Cheat Sheet. But truth be told, they felt something was missing.
The duo started doing their research and realized that they were lacking some of the essential omega-3 fatty acids.
See alsoThe Best Seafood for Omega-3s.
Omega-3s can be found in foods other than fish, like chia seeds, walnuts and soybeans, but these vegetarian sources contain a precursor, alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), that once ingested will be converted to two other important omega- 3s: EPA and DHA. Fish contains EPA and DHA and doesn’t require this extra conversion step. That is why Cramer and McComsey say fish is the best way to get these essential omega-3 fatty acids that are important for the healthy growth of cells, proper immune function and organ and tissue health.
Recently, Cramer and McComsey decided to take their love affair with seafood public. Even though they knew that their ethical vegan fans wouldn’t be happy, the two introduced the idea of the seagan diet, which melds a traditional plant-based vegan diet with sustainable seafood.
The pair is careful to distinguish between ethical vegans and choosing a vegan diet for health reasons though.
“We make that distinction because ethical vegans are not going to be happy with our choice because we are taking from the animal kingdom,” McComsey says. “We went vegan for health reasons and we went seagan for health reasons.”
Both Cramer and McComsey feel this is lifestyle fit for anyone looking to feel good, look good and be healthy both inside and out.
“The addition of fish makes all the difference to people,” McComsey says. “We feel that adding fish to what seems like a restrictive diet is just going to make it a lot more palatable.”
Cramer says it is an easy diet that anyone can do.
“I find it a lot more fun to cook, a lot easier to cook for my company, and a lot easier going out to any restaurant and ordering something,” Cramer says.
Cramer and McComsey are now the authors of Seagan Eating: The Lure of a Healthy, Sustainable Seafood + Vegan Diet. The authors understand that not all seafood is nutritious or sustainable so they include seafood buying guides as well as shopping lists and menus in their new book. And the pair has shared a few tips to keep in mind when shopping for seafood with Clean Eating.
- Buy sustainably caught fish.
- When it comes to salmon, choose wild caught Pacific or Alaskan. These are higher in omega-3s, vitamin B, B-12, Selenium and protein. Avoid Atlantic salmon.
- Shrimp should be domestic. About 90% of shrimp is imported and can be contaminated.
- The bigger the fish (i.e: tuna, swordfish, flounder, halibut) the more contaminated it may be. The small fish eat the pollutants, and the big fish eat the small fish.
- Don’t overlook the small fish. Anchovies, sardines and herring, although not the most popular, tend to be some of the least contaminated.
- Frozen is great. Frozen seafood is captured at peak freshness and nutrient value and typically flash frozen on board the ship.