The nation is all about the Pegan Diet this year. This diet, which combines paleo and vegan diets, has doctors and average Joe’s alike coming together to sing its praises. This diet, like all diets, may not work for everyone. That’s why it is so important to get all of the facts before making a decision.
Paleo Vs. Vegan: What Are They?
Before embarking on this diet, it is obviously important to know what exactly it means to be a vegan and what it means to have a paleo diet. Vegans eliminate meat, seafood, dairy, poultry, and eggs from their diet, but they keep fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains. The paleo lifestyle focuses on fresh and organic foods – fresh grass-fed meat, fish, seafood, free-ranging eggs, nuts, fruits, vegetables (except for corn and potatoes), and natural oils. Unlike vegans, they do not eat legumes.
Ever since these two diets came to fruition, people were forced to pick sides and chose which diet was the best and most healthy. As a result, dozens of books, websites, articles, and research have popped up to help people make their decision. And guess what – people are still confused! To the average person, both diets may be a healthier option and may be great for us; but all of the limitations and the constant need to read labels and ask questions stresses some out – this is why some people still haven’t taken the plunge and picked a side.
What’s So Great About The Pegan Diet?
The thing people love about the pegan diet is that they don’t have to pick sides! Going pegan means that you get the best of both worlds and more food options! This helps to combat nutritional problems that the two namesakes used to have on their own. Where vegans used to worry about getting adequate protein and paleos were concerned about insulin sensitivity, the pegan diet makes up for it by incorporating solutions to both problems.For this diet you only should follow these 10 principles:
1. Focus on foods with a low glycemic load.
“They key to weight loss, diabetes, and cardiovascular health is eating a low-glycemic, high-phytonutrient diet,” explains Hyman. In other words, choose foods that are low in sugar, avoid refined carbs of all kinds, and stick to organic options like fruits, nuts, legumes, and even teas.
2. Fill your plate with veggies.
50 to 75 percent of your diet—and your plate—should be vegetables, Hyman says. And the deeper the color, the better—this signifies a high phytonutrient (aka organic) content that can protect against disease.
3. Eat the right fats.
Stay away from most vegetable oils such as canola, sunflower, corn, and especially soybean oil—it’s highly processed and high in inflammatory omega 6 fats. Focus instead on omega 3 fats, found in olive oil, nuts, coconut, avocados, and in small amounts, even saturated fat from grass fed or sustainably raised animals.
4. Treat meat as a side dish.
Paleo diets give meat the starring role,while vegans avoid it entirely. So what’s a Pegan to do? “A good rule of thumb is to fill about 25 percent of your plate with a protein-rich food—about the size of your palm,” says Hyman. Veggies should still be the majority, and any remaining plate-space should be given to healthy starches such as winter squash, sweet potato, or black rice.
5. Choose sustainably raised or grass-fed sources.
Grass-fed beef has more cholesterol-neutral stearic acid and contains protective omega-3 fats and vitamins A and D that raises glutathione and other antioxidants. And if you’re going for fish, choose omega-3-fat rich fish such as sardines or wild salmon, which have lower mercury levels.
6. Avoid dairy
Here’s where both diets have it right. “While some people can tolerate it, recent research has shown that it can contribute to ailments such as obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and may increase (not decrease) the risk of osteoporosis. Try organic goat or sheep products, and only as a treat.
7. Say no to gluten, and cut down on other whole grains.
You should eat them sparingly. They still raise blood sugar and can trigger autoimmunity.
8. Limit legumes.
Although beans are a good source of fiber, protein and minerals, you should consume 1 cup per day. They can cause digestive problems, and increase blood sugar in diabetics or pre-diabetics—especially big starchy beans.
9. Have sugar only on (very) special occasions.
Maple syrup, honey, and coconut sugar are okay in small amounts, but skip artificial sweeteners and any added sugars.
10. Banish Franken-foods
Choose foods that are low in pesticides, antibiotics, hormones, and GMOs.
This diet, as stated by doctors, can help lower cholesterol, lower the risk of diabetes, and control blood glucose levels, just to name a few. There is no promise that this diet alone will aid your weight loss goals, but the diet mixed with a regular workout plan should do the trick! So there it is, a nice little round-up of the pegan diet! Think you’ll be tempted to try it out any time soon?