Pegan Diet Review
There’s a new trend in the diet community called the “pegan” diet. It’s a combination of the paleo diet and vegan diet. What are the advantages of going pegan? Find out today in our Pegan Diet review.
What is the Pegan Diet?
The Pegan Diet combines the ideas of veganism – where you avoid eating any animal byproducts – and the paleo diet – where you eat wild meat and avoid eating processed grains and sugars developed after the Agricultural Revolution 12,000 years ago.
Combining these diets doesn’t seem to make a lot of sense at first: the paleo diet is a meat-heavy diet packed with lean protein from wild game. Veganism doesn’t let you eat meat.
So how does it work?
But here’s the thing: the pegan diet isn’t quite paleo nor is it quite vegan. It’s more accurately called a kind of plant-based paleo diet.
The goal is to lower your glycemic load. Both the paleo diet and vegan diets have some things in common, like:
— High Fruits And Vegetables
— Low Glycemic Load
— Low Chemicals And Preservatives
— Lots Of Good Quality Fats
— Lean Protein
— Organic And Local Food Wherever Possible
By combining the ideals of these two diets and reducing their unique restrictions, you get a diet that’s healthier and easier to follow than strictly veganism or strictly paleo.
How to Start the Pegan Diet
Staring the pegan diet is relatively straightforward. Here are the basic rules and restrictions regarding the diet:
Eat the Right Fats
Avoid processed vegetable oils like canola, corn, and soybean oil. Instead, focus on getting more omega-3 fats (from avocado, nuts, and coconut) along with saturated fat (from grass-fed organic meat).
Eat Mostly Plants
Plants and vegetables should be about 75% of your diet. Make sure three quarters of your plate with every meal consists of vegetables. Kale, chickpeas, and potatoes are all popular ways to maintain this requirement.
Avoid Dairy Products
Many modern diets advocate cutting dairy out altogether. Of course, there are plenty of pegan diet-friendly alternatives available if you still want something with your cereal in the morning – like soy milk or coconut milk.
Most people don’t have a gluten sensitivity. That being said, many people report feeling healthier after eliminating gluten from the diet. In any case, you should avoid eating complex carbohydrates while on the pegan diet, including sweet potatoes, nuts, and leafy greens.
Don’t Make Meat the Main Focus of Every Meal
The paleo diet is too meat-heavy for some people. With that in mind, the pegan diet typically recommends making meat products a side dish to the main course. Don’t make a big steak the central part of your meal. If you do want to eat meat, focus on eating locally-sourced organic meat products wherever possible.
Eat Sugar as an Occasional Treat
When you start the pegan diet, you should stop sprinkling sugar on everything you own. Stop adding it to your coffee, for example. Avoid eating sugary cereals or eating sugary condiments like ketchup.
That being said, you can still enjoy sugar and sweetness. You just need to find the right sources for that sweetness. Coconut, organic honey, and raw maple syrup are all good sweetening options that aren’t heavily processed before consumption.
Restrict Legume Intake
Beans are a good source of fiber, protein, and minerals. However, you shouldn’t have more than one cup per day. Why? Beans are starchy and have been shown to cause digestive problems. They also increase blood sugar in diabetics and anyone who is pre-diabetic.
Avoid Heavily Processed Foods
Avoiding heavily processed foods is a good rule for just about any diet out there today: too many of the foods on supermarket shelves are “franken foods” that are packed with chemicals, artificial preservatives, MSG, dyes, sweeteners, and other stuff we really don’t need to eat. Avoid buying heavily processed foods and you should be able to enjoy a wide range of benefits – including everything from better weight loss to reduced toxic load.
Sample Meal Plan for the Pegan Diet
Here’s what an average day could look like while following the pegan diet:
Breakfast: Protein smoothie with nuts, berries, coconut butter, almond butter, almond milk, and seeds.
Lunch: Big salad with avocado, seeds, wild-caught fish, or sardines.
Dinner: Wild-caught fish or organic locally-raised lamb or chicken with two to three sides of vegetables, including dark leafy greens, roasted mushrooms, or winter squash, for example.
As you can see, the pegan diet lets you eat some meat while still focusing heavily on vegetables.
Key Foods Included In The Pegan Diet: are grass-fed meats, fish, seafood, fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts, seeds, eggs, olive oil, walnut oil, flaxseed oil, avocado, and coconut. Expect most of your daily meals to revolve around these foods.
Key Foods That The Pegan Diet Excludes: include cereal grains, most legumes, dairy products, processed sugar, processed foods, refined vegetable oils, and salt. If you don’t think you can avoid these foods, then you shouldn’t start the pegan diet.
Who Created the Pegan Diet?
Most people credit the creation of the pegan diet to a guy named Mark Hyman, MD. He was the first person who used the term “pegan”.
Mark published an article called “Why I am a Pegan – or Paleo-Vegan – and Why You Should Be Too!” back in January 2015.
In that article, he argued that both vegan diets and paleo diets promise the same benefits: weight loss, reduced symptoms of diabetes, and lower cholesterol. However, the two diets also subscribe to different ideologies: one says you should avoid all animal foods and eat beans, grains, and vegetables, while the other one says you should avoid grains and eat only meat.
Mark created the pegan diet “after reading dozens of studies on vegan and paleo diets” and examining their exact methodologies. He came to the conclusion that the best diet is a combination of both veganism and paleo.
In any case, Mark is an expert nutritionist and it’s the diet he has chosen for himself and recommends to most of his patients.
It’s also important to note that Mark didn’t create any book, weight loss program, or branded company based around the pegan diet: he’s not trying to sell you anything.
Nevertheless, other people have created pegan diet books. There’s one book on Amazon called The Pegan Diet: A New Lifestyle that promises to include pegan diet-friendly recipes. Mark Hyman doesn’t appear to be affiliated with this book in any way.
Benefits of the Pegan Diet
— Low Glycemic Load: The lack of sugar, flour, and refined carbohydrates will lower your glycemic load, which will reverse diabetes symptoms and lower your risk for the disease.
— More Essential Vitamins and Nutrients: The pegan diet is filled with colorful fruits and vegetables, all of which are packed with essential vitamins and nutrients, including phytonutrients that protect against most diseases.
— Low Toxicity: The pegan diet advocates local, organically grown fruits, vegetables, and meats. These can reduce your toxic load by eliminating pesticides, antibiotics, and hormones from the diet. If you’re scared of GMO foods, then you should also find you eat fewer GMO foods when on the pegan diet.
— Lower Risk of Heart Disease: Eating healthy fats like omega 3 fatty acids can have powerful effects all across the body. It can lower your risk of heart disease, for example, and protect your cognitive power as you age.
— Lean Protein for Muscle Growth: If you’re working out and exercising while following the pegan diet, then you’ll appreciate the lean protein that comes from healthy meats and fish. It’s needed for muscle recovery and to replace your fat with lean muscle.
— Weight Loss: Eliminating dairy and grains from your diet is a surefire way to encourage weight loss in any diet.
Conclusion: Who Should Start the Pegan Diet?
As it stands now, the pegan diet is a general concept and not a strict diet plan. Depending on who you ask, that concept varies widely. Some people follow “peganism” by eliminating all animal products from their diet while focusing on wild nuts and berries.
Most people, however, follow the pegan diet as a plant-based vegan diet. You can still eat meats, but don’t eat as much as some people do while following the paleo diet.
As a good general rule, make 75% of your diet plant-based or vegetable-based. The rest can be fruits, meats, legumes, eggs, and other pegan-friendly foods.
The paleo diet is too meat-heavy for some people, and the vegan diet is too fruit and vegetable-heavy for some people. Combining these two diets is a great way to enjoy the benefits of both while still eating the foods you enjoy.