Another diet is joining the ranks of paleo, keto, and Whole30, known as “pegan”. The new diet, a hybrid of paleo and vegan, was first introduced in 2014 by physician Mark Hyman. The pegan diet positions itself as being more moderate than the paleo and vegan diets, though it still has food restrictions similar to both. Let’s see what it entails.
The pegan diet is essentially a plant-based diet, comprising of about 75% of your diet. The increase in vegetables and fruits result in a major boost to your daily fiber intake, something that many Americans do not get enough of. This provides a number of health benefits to your heart, in addition to dropping your risk of the several types of cancer.
An emphasis on fruits and vegetables is joined by maintaining a balance of healthy fats like omega-3’s, provided from sources like fatty fish and flaxseed. Saturated fats are also emphasized, sourced from coconut oil and butter.
As for protein, peganism sees meats as a “condiment” to your overall diet, meaning they are used sparingly and more as a side to your fruit and vegetable heavy meals. When meat is consumed, peganism places an emphasis on organic, free-range, and grass-fed sources. One simple rule to follow with peganism is that foods that are man-made should essentially be left alone.
Peganism does take a hard stance on prohibiting wheat and gluten-containing grains. Pretty easy to follow, but peganism also limits gluten-free foods like quinoa, brown rice, oats, and amaranth, due to the claim that it raises blood sugar and can trigger autoimmunity.
Nutritional experts have slammed the pegan diet for a number of reasons. On being that some nutrient dense foods are limited from the diet for dubious reasons unproven by science. It is also criticized for having a steep price point at the market to shop for foods like this. Nevertheless, the pegan diet is gaining traction in health and wellness circles, despite lacking scientific evidence and accessibility for all.