A new diet is gaining more and more followers in Europe and the US: the Pegan diet. This is a combination of the ancient Paleolithic diet and the vegetarian regime. Together, the two practices would be the secret to achieving balance.
What does the Paleo diet mean? It is inspired by the feeding habits of Paleolithic people who ate low fat meat (beef and bird), fish, nuts, seeds, and no derivative dairy products whatsoever, nor did they eat sugar or cereals.
Second one is well known and well documented – the vegan diet involves the exclusion of any animal products.
The pegan regime was invented by American Mark Hyman, a family physician, an international lecturer and a successful author of no less than ten best-selling books. The Paleo-Vegan regime is “the most favorable diet for our health and for that of the planet,” Hyman said, continuing to declare that “this regime is environmentally sustainable and respects animal life.”
What can you eat on Pegan diet?
Theoretically, the two diets seem incompatible. One urges you to eat like a caveman – lots of animal proteins, and the other forbids everything derived from animals. Apparently, the best choice is a combination of the two, resulting in a healthy and balanced diet.
- Fruits and vegetables. 75 percent of the paleo-vegan diet is based on the consumption of fruits and vegetables, especially those with a lower glycemic index, such as apricots, strawberries, peaches, red beets, carrots, grapes.
- Low fat organic beef, preferably from grass-fed, free roaming animals, is allowed in small quantities. As fruits and vegetables are the stars of the pegan diet, meat is not the central element of a meal, it is just an accompany food.
- Nuts and seeds. To get your healthy proteins and fats, the pegan regime encourages the consumption of a large amount of nuts and seeds (hemp, sesame, pumpkin). In order to have an intake of good fats, the consumption of fatty fish (sardines, salmon), olive oil, avocado, coconut is recommended .
- Whole grains with low glycemic index, gluten-free, in small amounts. It’s mostly wild rice and quinoa, recommended in a maximum of 125 grams a day, because cereals generally raise your blood sugar.
- Vegetables with moderation. Legumes such as leek or peas are indicated, but in measured quantities, ie 250 grams per day.
Pegan diet sample menu
Breakfast – omelette with vegetables or spinach
Snack – nuts or fruits
Lunch – Chicken fillet served with quinoa
Snack – nuts or fruits
Dinner – grilled meat with vegetables or brown rice
A useful trick would be to cook a lot of ripe vegetables over the weekend and mix them with eggs, then put them in the molds for brioches. So you’ll have breakfast ready for the morning of the week. You can eat them with fresh vegetables and vegetables. And you can still eat a smoothie with berries.
Breakfast – Salted burgers from eggs and ripe vegetables
Lunch – Baked vegetables with avocados and herbs. Prepare a large vegetable salad in the oven to consume with avocados, whole grains or legumes and a few slices of chicken breast. A healthy snack consists of a few raw almonds and an apple.
Dinner – Salmon (fish) with leek salad or raw cucumbers and herbs.
Foods to avoid on Pegan diet
Soy. Under the principles of the pegan regime, soy disrupts hormonal activity, besides the fact that we often buy genetically modified soybeans.
Dairy products. The diet however allows organic goat or sheep milk products, but only occasionally. Otherwise, dairy products, especially processed, are to be avoided altogether.
Gluten. If you are not sensitive to gluten, the regime allows occasional consumption in small quantities.
Sugar and processed foods such as biscuits, cakes, carbonated drinks, and canned foods should be considered only as occasional, small pleasures.
What do the specialists say?
The potential benefits attributed to the pegan regime are quite obvious. According to Dr. Hyman, this diet can help you lose weight, lower your cholesterol levels, reduce the risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
Diets cause frustration if they are too restrictive. Many nutritionists agree on it. And the risk is to fall into excess. Rules are made to be broken, aren’t they? We therefore have to learn good eating habits, eat everything, but in a balanced manner, and in a reasonable amount. On the other hand, we admit that eating is often a way to manage our emotions. In complicated times, many people eat more, do not feel sorry and feel the need to grab a bite all too often.
True, we must not fall under the dictatorial rule of so-called miracle diets. That’s why the pegan regime seems to take these facts into account and be fairly balanced. But it should not only be seen as a diet, which can be kept for a limited period of time and that gives the expected effects quickly. It is more along the lines of a lifestyle, it is about a lifestyle change, towards healthy principles that have to be learned and practiced for a while.
Pegan diet rules:
- You may not eat refined sugar, processed foods, dairy products, gluten, large amounts of meat, or vegetable oils.
- Think of meat as a spice, not as the main course! Choose meat from safe sources and use it as you use a spice. It brings benefits to the body, but also high amounts of saturated fat and cholesterol. Therefore, it is preferable to consume it in small quantities and not necessarily daily. Especially for poultry and fish.
- Do not consume more than half a cup of legumes a day
It is a good source of protein, fiber, minerals and vitamins, but it balloons and favors digestive problems.
Therefore, it is preferable not to exaggerate with their consumption and to limit yourself to half a cup a day.
- Do not consume more than half a cup of whole grains per day. Especially for gluten-free ones such as wild rice, quinoa, millet and buckwheat
Cereals are forbidden in the Paleo diet, but when consuming the whole diet brings many health benefits. It is important to choose gluten-free ones such as quinoa, buckwheat, millet, wild rice, oats, and do not exceed half a cup a day.
- Eat 1-2 cooked eggs daily, especially at breakfast. They have a high content of healthy fats and proteins that are essential to the whole body. The Pegan Diet recommends eating eggs every day at breakfast.
Disadvantages of the Pegan diet
Like all things in life, there are not only good things about this diet. Let’s focus a bit on the disadvantages:
- The Pegan diet completely prohibits the consumption of dairy products, which could be very difficult for some people to adapt.
- This diet requires organic consumption of meat. This meat is much more expensive than non-organic meat, which means that a person should have a larger budget to work if they switch from another diet to Pegan diet.
- Switching from a vegan diet to a Pegan diet can be quite difficult because 25% of food consumption should be meat in this diet but with a vegan lifestyle, the person would be accustomed to completely avoid any products based on of animals including eggs and meat.
If you want to try this diet, please consult with your doctor first.