Is The Pegan Diet Another Fad Diet?

  • The Pegan diet combines key principles from paleo diet and veganism that encourages a plant-based eating style.
  • In terms of what food products are included, major emphasis is placed on plant-based food, but small to moderate amounts of meat products, low-mercury fish options, nuts besides peanuts and seeds are also included.
  • Pegan diet is easier to follow compared to paleo diet or veganism, but these restrictions on food products could still be difficult to follow in the long run.

The Pegan diet is becoming more popular these days, gaining 337% increase in searches in the past year. This eating style is a combination of the other popular diet trends including paleo diet and veganism that prescribe whole-food diet.

Granted, these popular diet trends that incorporate hunter-gatherer feeding habits and complete non-consumption of animal products appear unimaginable to the average person, but there are new eating styles more appropriate for you.

Dr. Mark Hyman created the pegan diet that encourages healthier food options to promote optimal health, prescribing a plant-based diet with exceptions to some meat, fish, and eggs.

“The general parameters are basically taking the topline of two competing diet ideologies and combining the names to make for a great wedding hashtag,” said Registered Dietitian Jaclyn London, Nutrition Director at the Good Housekeeping Institute. “But in reality, most of these restrictions are unnecessary and frankly, quite costly and time-consuming.”

What is pegan diet?

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Pegan diet combines principles from paleo diet and veganism that encourages a plant-based eating style. Paleo eating style is patterned after hurter-gatherer feeding habits during the Paleolithic era.

This prescribes a whole-food diet that includes food products available millions of years ago. It excludes most agronomic crops: cereals. This eating style incorporates unprocessed meat products to a plant-based diet. However, this excludes food products that are processed including coffee, sugar, salt, and alcoholic beverages.

Veganism abstains from the consumption of animal products, encouraging plant-based eating style instead. Vegans, in addition to being vegetarians, rejects the commodity status of animals and consumption of animal by-products like eggs, cheese, yogurt, and even honey.

There are contradictions between these eating styles, but the basic concept that peganism borrows is the prescription to a whole food-based diet. The idea is to encourage a plant-based eating style and reduce the consumption of processed food products.

What do you eat on the pegan diet?

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Major emphasis is placed on plant-based food, but small to moderate amounts of meat products, low-mercury fish options, nuts besides peanuts and seeds are also included in the diet. Dr. Hyman recommends increasing fruit and vegetable consumption to three fourths of total food consumption.

What are the benefits?

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Plant-based food products are high in fiber content. Fibers are indigestible materials found in food, especially in fruits and vegetables. This means that plant-based diets could result in weight loss because of the increased dietary fiber consumption with decreased calorie intake.

What are the downsides?

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Pegan diet is easier to follow compared to paleo diet or veganism. However, these restrictions on food products could still be too much, especially when it comes to dairy products and sugar.

“A life without sugar is no life at all and pointless because attempting to restrict something your body may want to have will inevitably backfire,” London said.

Should I try it?

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“The general, real-life design of the pegan diet is okay at best,” London says. “There are a lot of claims surrounding what makes specific attributes of specific diets so ‘life-changing’ these days, but in large part we’re buying into marketing instead of general tenants of health and wellbeing.”

London recommends eating more plant-based food products plus unsweetened dairy and plant-based oils. The best approach for this is to decide on what nutrients are needed on a specific time period rather than putting a “good” or “bad” labels on food.

Source: Good House Keeping



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