A pegan diet, as the name suggests, is a hybrid of the paleo diet and vegan diet. A paleo diet includes all whole foods that are hunted or gathered, while a vegan diet only includes plant-based foods.
The idea is to consume 75% plant-based foods and 25% animal-based foods generally. Ideally, all food items must be whole in nature, minimally processed and fresh. A pegan diet does not include dairy or gluten. Dr. Mark Hyman, MD is an advocate for the pegan diet on Facebook and Instagram.
The pegan principle stresses on sustainability and limited effects on the environment. Clean eating is one of the main features of this diet. Processed foods are not allowed.
What Can You Eat on Pegan Diet?
Any freshly sourced food item is allowed in this diet, which can include:
- Vegetables: carrots, tomatoes, peas, beans, celery, etc
- Nuts: almonds, walnuts, pistachios, etc
- Seeds: Chia, flax, pumpkin, etc
- Grass-fed meat: beef, pork, chicken
- Fish: salmon, herring, etc
- Gluten-Free Grains: quinoa, rice, oats, etc.
Foods to Avoid in Pegan Diet
Processed foods must be avoided completely. Dairy and foods treated with pesticides, preservatives, artificial colors, and flavors are also not allowed.
Some of the foods to avoid in a pegan diet are:
- Pasta, cereals, baked products, granola
- Milk and milk products
- Wheat and other gluten rich products
Health Benefits of Pegan Diet
There is a lack of information regarding the claimed health benefits of pegan diet. Advocates of the pegan diet claim various health benefits.
As this diet is high in dietary fiber and low in starch, it might be beneficial for gut health. It might also decrease the chances of various diseases. Some studies have shown that the pegan diet helped in reducing bad cholesterol and aided in fat loss.
Gluten need not be avoided if a person is not intolerant to it. Whole grains and legumes are often included in such a diet. People with Celiac disease might benefit from this diet and show improved conditions.
Heavily processed oils and sugars are discouraged. Although most of the diet includes plant-based foods, adequate protein must be provided from animal sources to meet the requirements of the body.
Processed meats are, however, discouraged, and examples include sausages, ham, patty, etc. They might play a role in the prevention of colon and rectal cancers.
A pegan diet may help reduce inflammation in the body and decrease the amount of oxidative stress. This diet might help in improving heart health as well.
Disadvantages of Pegan Diet
Although this diet allows both plant-based and animal-origin foods, it’s still restrictive in nature. Restrictions on dairy intake can deprive people of several nutrients.
When dairy is not consumed for a long time, sensitivity to dairy and its products increases. Availability of whole and freshly sourced food items is an issue. Grass-fed meat might not be available to everyone or might be expensive to purchase. It might be difficult to get food prepared if a person is traveling or cannot cook.
Sample Pegan Diet Menu
A sample pegan diet menu is as follows:
- Breakfast: omelette with green salad dresse in olive oil
- Lunch: roasted chicken, green leafy vegetables steamed
- Dinner: baked fish, roasted carrots and steamed broccolis
- Snacks: grilled shrimps, fruit salad
A pegan Diet is a hybrid of vegan diet and paleo diet. It includes freshly sourced fruits and vegetables along with grass-ed meat and eggs.
This diet discourages the consumption of processed foods and foods with additives such as artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners, pesticides and preservatives. Processed oils are also not allowed in this diet. Dairy is completely discouraged in this diet.
Gluten-free grains are generally consumed, but other grains can be included as well. The main principle of pegan diet is to decrease the impact of our food habits on the environment and make it more sustainable. Unlike a vegan diet, it allows meat, which helps in the fullfilment of the requirements of amino acids in the body.
A person interested in pegan diet must weigh in the advantages and disadvantages of such a diet before starting it. One must consult their health professionals if they have any existing medical issues.