Is Seafood Meat? Similarities & Differences

Is Seafood Meat
Share on:

I feel like the question `Is seafood meat` has been an unsolved discussion for years now. While writing this article, to be 100% right about everything, I would say I went through a lot of bibliography research, and it looks like there are two theories. The first theory states that seafood is not meat but muscle food. Therefore, mammals are considered meat only. On the other hand, vegetarians consider seafood meat and don’t consume them.  So, is seafood meat?

Seafood is considered meat. In fact, all living animals in the ground or water used as food are considered meat. But, of course, there is a difference between the red meat from cows, sheep, or pigs and white meat like shrimp, fish, or lobsters. 

The most significant similarity is that both fish and meat are fantastic protein sources. However, they are pretty different in other components like taste, texture, and usage. Seafood is a better option to put into your daily diet as all facts speak in its favor. But to understand everything correctly, you can read the full article. 

Is Seafood Considered Meat?

Before we start with explaining, here is a cheat sheet to help you out.

TasteSoft and fresh, you can feel the sea tasteMouthful sensation with some light burned tones
TextureSoft and easily chewable Solid and stronger
PopularitySpecific costumersThe majority are meat-oriented
Nutrition High in omega 3 High in protein
Benefits of EatingHeart diseasesMuscle maintenance 
UsesWith pastaWith rice or couscous 

This is a tricky question, and I would say yes and no. One may ask why? Let me explain!

Technically, meat is the flesh of an animal used as food. However, the definition does not separate the ground or water animals. They are all part of the animal kingdom and should be treated equally. 

On the other hand, some people do not consider it meat, as, according to them, meat comes from a mammal. Even in scientific research, some researchers put fish and seafood in the meat category, and some no. 

Is Seafood Considered Meat to a Vegetarian?

Vegetarians do consider seafood as meat. Vegetarian philosophy is not to consume any living beings that until now is consumed by the human being. Therefore, this list also includes fish and all seafood. 

Although there are people that differentiate those two products: meat and fish, for different reasons like nutritional values, many people decide to abandon all types of meat but fish. Those people are known as pescetarians. 

So overall, if you are sharing a meal with a vegetarian friend, don’t ask them if they consume fish. If they do, they will declare themselves as pescetarians.

What Is Considered Seafood?

All types of living creatures that live in the sea or other salty waters are considered seafood. Part of this category is bony fishes, crawfish, and shellfish. In addition, mussels, oysters, octopus, calamari, and shrimps are also part of the seafood family. Also, plants like algae are also part of this category

Is Seafood Meat

Is Fish Seafood?

According to the vocabulary, fish, like all other creatures living in the sea and can be eaten, is considered seafood. But in everyday life, this definition depends on the region or country. From my point of view, when I say seafood, I don’t refer to the fish, but usually to everything else like mussels, octopus, calamari, scallops, etc. 

What Is Considered Meat?

This question opens an extensive discussion as food science, forever, has identified the term `meat` only with red meat, and aquaculture products like fish and seafood are considered muscle foods. 

If we follow this definition, the meat is considered: beef, duck, pigs, lambs, etc. At the same time, poultry and aquaculture products are not considered meat. 

Is Fish White Meat?

In addition to the classic definition stated above, I would not agree. Of course, fish has many muscles compared with animals, but it also has bonnes and a skeleton. The nutrition chart of fish also shows a large amount of protein, almost the same as red meat. 

Seafood vs. Meat: Differences


Meat taste is very different and depends if the meat is fully cooked or semi-cooked and smoked. In several types of meat, you can feel a slight presence of blood taste. However, meat usually gives you a more mouthful sensation, and if it is roasted or grilled, it has some light burned flavors that are not harmful but are good. 

Seafood is more delicate in its taste. You can feel the freshness and the sea taste in every bite. The taste is more elegant, soft, and sometimes a little sweet. 


Seafood has a very delicate texture. In seafood like shrimps or scallops, they have a gelly and elastic consistency while you chew. Other seafood like mussels or oysters have a slippery surface; you need to slurp them slowly and chew them once or twice.

Other seafood like octopus and calamari have a more strong texture, quite rubbery. So their texture can be a little stronger than the meat. 

When talking about meat, the texture depends on the way and the level of cooking. Goat meat is incredibly soft; it can melt in your mouth after chewing two or three times. Beef, pork, and chicken are more solid, and you need to chew them well, and probably you will need a good knife for them. 

Is Seafood Meat


When talking about popularity, I would say that it depends on the country or the region. According to all the countries and areas I have visited, most traditional culinary is more based on meat than fish. 

Fish may dominate more in the coastal areas, but the meat is spread more among different cultures. In the case of France, which is one of the most important countries when talking about food, you can find plenty of authentic meat recipes. Still, there is one particular region well known for fresh scallops. 

Sea and fish have a particular taste that people either like or dislike, while in meat, many flavors can be found as there are more varieties, from chicken to livers, beef, duck, or rabbit.


Seafood’s primary macronutrient is protein. Therefore, eating fish or seafood can be a fantastic protein and Omega 3. Unfortunately, there are not a lot of foods that contain omega 3, and the most foods on the list are types of fish or seafood. [1]

Depending on the type of seafood, the minerals present may vary. The octopus, for example, has a good amount of phosphorus, potassium, and sodium that significantly affects your health. Salmon also has selenium and zinc besides all mentioned macronutrients. [2] [3]

Seafood also has a lot of vitamins. I am starting with some types of vitamin B, B6, B12, and B14. All this complexity of vitamins and minerals creates a lot of good health benefits that I will explain above. 

Meat also is the source of a large number of proteins. For example, red meat can have 20-24 grams of protein in 100 grams of raw meat. According to the scientific bibliography, this is considered a significant amount. 

Regarding vitamins, meat, especially red meat, contains vitamin D. Studies show that 35% of this vitamin teenagers take from meat.  

Benefits of Eating

As stated above, seafood has proven to have essential macronutrients. This lists seafood as very high among the best foods to consume in our everyday lives. In addition, all those macronutrients combined can give numerous health benefits. 

Firstly, seafood can reduce the risk of a heart attack due to the omega-three high content in seafood. Also, omega 3, in general, is essential for our body. It helps to fight depression, inflammation, and autoimmune diseases. 

Those are only the essential health benefits, as omega-three has much more to offer to our bodies, and the food with a significant content of omega-3 is seafood and fish. Seafood can improve sleep and protect your vision as you get older. 

Meat is an excellent source of protein. Meats like chicken or beef are your first alley if you aim for muscle growth. Most professional fitness people consume meat three to four times per week. 

Meat also has a good quantity of minerals like zinc and selenium, which improve the metabolism and immunity of human bodies. 

Suppose we compare which is better in terms of health benefits, seafood. As per meat, it depends on the way of cooking it. The beef can develop cancerogenic effects if you fry it in a large amount of oil at a high temperature. So there is some actual evidence that links meat consumption to colorectal cancer. 


Seafood and meat are usually consumed as main courses accompanied by other selections like vegetables, rice, or pasta. 

Both can get integrated into salads and create healthy meals if cooked correctly. Hosting big dinners is still a matter of choice if you have a meat or seafood menu. This choice may depend even on the region that you are in. 

If you are located near the seaside, the probability of finding fresh and good-quality seafood is higher, and the final result of the menu will surely be better. On the other hand, if you are located in a mountain area, the meat and dairy products will probably be a better suit. 

I would propose not to mix seafood and meat on the same menu. However, if the entree or main course is meat-based, keep the same line and vice versa. 

Generally speaking, seafood goes perfectly with pasta. From pappardelle to linguine or fettuccine, you can choose whatever you love most to serve with a mix of seafood. My favorite selection is ravioli filled with shrimps. 

Raw seafood or meat is important to avoid for pregnant women and children. As per meat, I feel it can fit better with rice, couscous, or a sweet potato puree. 

What Are the 7 Kinds of Meat?

This is a question that I would not consider 100% correct. However, according to studies, there are four essential kinds of meats. The first category is red meat, including beef, goat, lamb, and rabbit. The second is the white meat, including fish and seafood. The third category includes chicken and turkey, and the last is pork meat. 

Overall those are the main categories that I can logically divide. There are other subcategories like sausage, prosciutto, or different types, but those follow the big four categories.

Is Shellfish a Meat?

Shellfish can be considered meat, as it’s a breathing animal containing many flesh animals. Shellfish is also part of the seafood family, which in my opinion, is considered meat. 

Is Lobster Considered Meat?

The same philosophy is applied to lobster. Lobster contains a lot of soft meat if you remove the shell. As a result, lobster meat is rich in macronutrients and, compared with other types of meats, is more expensive to the point that it is considered a luxury product. 

Is Seafood a Red Meat?

Seafood can be considered meat by many people, including me, but not red meat. Most seafood does not contain any red color, even before being cooked. Their color is usually white to light pink. 

Is Shrimp Considered Meat?

Maybe pescetarians would not agree, but shrimps are considered meat. This is because they are living animals living in the sea. Thus they fulfill the criteria of being animal flesh.

What Is Fish Meat Called?

In every everyday like the fish, meat is called just fish. People don’t usually go that deep in definitions of what is or is not considered meat, so it is pretty easy to call it fish.

Is Salmon a Red Meat?

I would not consider salmon to be red meat. Red meat stands more for meats with significant blood and a dark reddish color. Salmon’s color is pinker, and the taste is delightful compared with other red meats. 

Are Prawns White Meat?

The original color of prawns is a light pink, and after being cooked, this color can get darker, but they are still classified as white meat. 

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments