You’ve probably been hearing a lot about the pegan diet; it’s been catching the attention of doctors and nutritionists nationwide. It combines the principles of two diets — paleo and vegan — and is believed to be a more balanced approach. It reduces the restrictions of these diets and is also easier to follow. Since paleo diet followers are restricted from eating grains and vegans struggle to get adequate protein, this diet is a well-rounded union of these two plans.
What Can You Eat?
Followers of the pegan plan are encouraged to follow a low-glycemic, high-phytonutrient diet. Avoid refined carbs and foods high in sugar and substitute them with fruits, vegetable, nuts, and legumes. 50 -75% of your diet should comprise of vegetables, particularly those that are dark in color as this signifies a high phytonutrient content.
Steer clear of processed fats oils such as soybean oil, sunflower oil, and canola oil. Instead opt for olive oil, coconut oil, nuts, and avocados which are high in omega 3 fats. While meat is allowed, it should account for only about 25% of your diet. Veggies and healthy starches such as sweet potato or black rice should be given priority. Some people even opt for a raw foods approach which involves eating fruits and vegetables that are raw or food that is not heated above 118 degrees. While practicing a raw foods lifestyle is an excellent way to detoxify and cleanse your system, it is not a must when following a pegan diet.
Avoid dairy completely as recent studies have shown that it can lead to diabetes, obesity, and heart disease. Gluten, whole grains, and sugar can be eaten sparingly and it’s best to save them for special occasions.
Benefits and Drawbacks of a Pegan Diet
One of the main benefits of a pegan diet is that it can help you lead a healthier, longer life by decreasing inflammation. Chronic low-grade inflammatory activity may be responsible for serious health conditions in the long run. Diseases such as stroke, arthritis, Alzheimer’s, high blood pressure, heart disease, and cancer have all been linked to chronic inflammation.
The pegan diet excludes the use of processed foods, dairy, sugar, refined grains, and detrimental animal protein. It is also rich in fiber, which is an important nutrient for health and disease prevention.
As in the case of most other diets, being too regimental about adopting a pegan lifestyle can actually be detrimental to your health. Don’t deprive yourself and ensure that you’re getting an adequate amount of calcium, vitamin D, and other micronutrients. Eat the foods that you enjoy, have an occasional cheat day and don’t be too hard on yourself.
It can be hard for many people to make radical dietary changes overnight. The pegan lifestyle is great as it allows you to follow a balanced approach by incorporating the best paleo and vegan principles. A few simple changes in your diet could lead to big improvements in your health.
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