The word “pegan” has increased Pinterest searches by 337 percent over the past year, and searches have grown steadily over the past six months.
It was born when Dr. Mark Hyman, a New York Times best-selling author, coined the term — a cross between paleo and vegan — in his nutrition blog post.
What is the Pegan Diet?
In short, the Pegan diet contains bits and pieces of the Paleo and Vegan diets.
On a vegan diet, you refrain from eating all animal products or by-products – no meat, eggs,
cheese, yogurt, and sometimes gelatin. The Paleo Diet is an eating plan that mimics what people ate during the Paleolithic era 2.5 million years ago. Thus, dieters eat unprocessed foods consisting mainly of vegetables, fruits, nuts, grass-fed meats, and fish.
How is Pegan different from vegan and paleo diets?
Although the vegan and paleo diets may seem to disagree with each other—one favors the exclusion of dairy products, meat, and fish, while the other encourages the consumption of meat and fish—both lifestyles are ultimately rooted in the same thing: healthy eating. foods and plants. . The goal of the
Pegan Diet is to get people to eat whole, fresh, organic foods and increase their vegetable intake. The focus is also on the quality of the food eaten – the vegan diet encourages participants to eat organic products.
What should you eat?
Plants! Most of your diet consists of vegetables, good fats and nuts, and seeds.
The doctor explained that 75 percent of the food should be fruits and vegetables, but avoid eating milk and gluten.
But if you have to eat dairy products, the diet recommends reaching for sheep or goat dairy products. Nutritional health coach and author Maria Marlowe, who runs her own nutritional health coaching practice in New York City, said that’s because goat and sheep’s milk is easier to digest than cow’s milk, but it’s best to avoid all dairy.
Hyman said that meat is not necessarily harmful and has good health benefits. It just
depends on how much you eat and what kind of food you eat. The doctor, who is also the director of the Center for Functional Medicine at the Cleveland Clinic, recommends eating meat in moderation and only grass-fed and sustainably raised meat.
Eat meat as a side dish, not as a main course.
Pegan dieters should also eat healthy fats, such as saturated fats found in nuts, avocados, coconut oil, and even organic meat products.
Is the Pegan Diet Safe?
Desiree Nielsen, a registered dietitian who runs her nutrition practice and hosts the
Canadian cooking show “The Urban Vegetarian,” doesn’t recommend a vegan diet because of its limitations she recommends avoiding any restrictive diets. . However, she believes the Pegan Diet is a great way to transition to a healthier, plant-based lifestyle.
“There is no right way to eat,” said Nielsen. “I think it’s a great diet for inspiration. Eat more plants; eat more whole foods — those are great messages to add, but I think for many of us, following a restrictive, rule-focused diet might not be healthy for our bodies. our health. our mind.”
What’s the point?
While the Pegan Diet may not be for everyone, it has been proven to work for some.
“I grew up eating the standard American diet, which caused a lot of health problems,” Marlowe said. “Eating like Pegan has helped me lose 20 pounds, get rid of digestive issues, have more energy, and generally improve my health.”
Nielsen said trying a vegan diet as a vegan left her hungry and suffering from low blood pressure and headaches. He said the Pegan diet doesn’t favor vegetables, where vegetarians get most of their protein and partially rely on animal proteins that vegans can’t eat.
“It’s a great transition for meat eaters to a more plant-based diet,” suggested Nielsen.
“This increases your intake of valuable phytochemicals from fruits and vegetables that help fight inflammation. It also helps you get away from the hyper-processed, packaged diet that many of us in North America eat, which is not healthy for us.”
Liz Josefsberg, the certified personal trainer and nutritionist in her own consulting business and former head of advertising for the brand Weight Watchers, tried a vegan diet for 30 days and said that although she struggled a bit at first, she ended up enjoying the journey and the results, including losing six pounds with little effort.
“My belly? Considerably more flattering. My skin? Bright and clear. My cheese cravings—and even my desire to enjoy a glass of wine—diminished,” Josefsberg wrote in a blog post. “I also noticed that I had real mental clarity and much more energy than usual.”