This era is the perfect time for dieting. Just think about it. Everything that you need to know about a specific diet is available online. All you need to do is do a quick search, wait a couple of seconds and poof! All the info you’ll ever need is just within a few clicks.
Vast tomes of diet-specific recipes are also available. There’s no need for guesswork anymore. Groceries are quickly catching up, dedicating aisles for products that match any type of diet imaginable.
And if cooking is not your thing, there are even food establishments that deliver diet-specific food, straight to your home’s front door. All you need to do is call.
These are the reasons why it’s not really a surprise why there is an overwhelming amount of different diets to choose from. Some of the most popular are the Ketogenic Diet, Gluten-free Diet, and the Atkins Diet.
Do you have a specific allergy? Do you want to lose weight? Whatever your reason is, there’s a diet for it.
And today, we are going to talk about one of the most trending diets right now—the Pegan Diet.
In this article, we are going to share with you what it is, its potential benefits, and of course, its basic rules to help you get started.
What is Pegan Diet?
So what is Pegan anyway? In a nutshell, Pegan is a cross between the Paleo and Vegan diets.
The Paleo Diet, also known as the “Caveman Diet” is a type of dietary system that seeks to return us to our way of eating during the Paleolithic era. This means that you will eat mostly meat, fruits, and vegetables—basically anything that can be foraged and hunted.
This also means that you will be restricted from food and drinks that have been invented or discovered after that era and that includes grains, dairy, and of course, all processed food and drinks.
The Vegan Diet, on the other hand, is a type of plant-based dietary system. This means that everything that comes from animals is restricted.
Hence, Pegan is a diet where you will eat what our ancestors ate minus food and drinks that came from animals such as meat, dairy, and eggs.
We know what you’re thinking: it sounds impossible, right? Don’t worry, it sounded like a real pain for us too. And that’s big coming from health freaks like us.
But don’t worry, after a few weeks of testing it out, we have concluded that this diet is completely worth it. How worth it? Well, read on below to find out.
1) Those who go on a pegan diet can get better blood sugar levels.
Maintaining a normal blood sugar level is very important. Too low and you’ll experience a significant decrease in energy and will put yourself at risk of hypoglycemia. Too high and your body’s repair process slows down and you put yourself at risk of diabetes.
Fortunately, according to a study published in the Diabetologia journal, going on a Paleolithic diet can not only improve weight loss better than the Mediterranean diet but it also improves glucose tolerance which is the state of how the blood breaks down sugar.
On the other hand, going on a plant-based or vegan diet, according to a recent study published in the European Journal of Epidemiology, can help lower insulin resistance, another major factor in improving blood sugar levels.
Going Pegan is good for the heart.
Aside from diabetes, another big health problem that a lot of people are going through is heart disease. In fact, diabetes and heart disease are two big killers in the United States alone claiming thousands of lives each year.
If you’re looking for a diet to improve your heart health, then you’re in the right place. According to a study published in the journal, Cardiovascular Diabetology, monitored subjects who took part in a three-month period following a strict Paleolithic diet showed a dramatic increase in numerous health factors that can cause heart disease.
On another study, this time monitoring participants adhering to a plant-based diet, it was found that going Vegan is even better than the diet recommended by no less than the American Heart Association!
Pegan is an effective diet for weight loss.
Finally, we understand that most people go on diets not just for the sake of the reducing the risk of acquiring diabetes and heart disease. No. Most of us are here because of one thing alone: to finally shed all those extra pounds that have been burdening us for years.
If you’re here for the same reason, then don’t worry because Pegan got you covered too. In a recent study, participants that were closely monitored of undergoing a Paleolithic diet intervention for five weeks, enjoyed a significant decrease in weight reflected by different signifiers: BMI, waist and hip ratio, even abdominal diameter.
In a review of literature published by the Journal of Geriatric Cardiology on the other hand, confirmed that plant-based diets are proven effective to help people lose weight in a healthy way.
Honestly, there are still a lot of benefits that one can get from going on a Pegan Diet according to the amount of research we have done so far. But due to the limited space in our article, why don’t we head on to the next part which is the discussion of the basic rules of Pegan (that we consider just as vital as the benefits themselves).
The Basic Rules (or Guidelines) of Pegan Diet
Dr. Mark Hyman formulated the Pegan Diet, and according to his website, here are the pillars of the Pegan Diet that you can follow if you want to practice it in your life:
1. Your diet must be mostly plant-based.
2. Sugar must be viewed as a treat that you only consume rarely. (And he’s not just talking about refined sugar, but sugar in all of its many forms).
3. And because you have to limit your sugar intake to close to none, this means that fruit consumption should be kept to a minimum as well, focusing only on eating low-sugar fruits like berries and watermelon.
4. When it comes to fats, stick to ingredients that provide healthy fats like omega-3.
5. Following the previous rule, even oil coming from vegetable, nuts, and seeds must also be avoided.
6. Because this diet is half-vegan, it is recommended to avoid animal products too, like dairy. If you simply can’t entirely avoid meat, treat it as a condiment and only eat fish that has been sustainably raised or harvested.
7. And of course, since this diet is half Paleo too, avoid any processed food. Stick to organic products.
The list of guidelines that we have shared with you above is a concise version of the “13 Pillars of Pegan Diet” written by Dr. Hyman.
The Verdict: Yes, Going Pegan is Worth It!
Yes, Pegan is can be really hard to follow when you’re just starting out. But it’s not impossible. Just be creative when it comes to food preparation. For instance, you can substitute the milk you put in your coffee with coconut milk. (Our favorite coconut milk is Vita Coco’s Unsweetened Original Coconut Milk. You’re welcome.)
Another nice substitute to consider is using avocado oil for cooking. (Our favorite is Chosen Foods’ Avocado Oil Spray).We also recommend reading Dr. Mark Hyman’s book itself, “What the Heck Should I Eat?” in order to get a complete rundown of the pillars we have mentioned a while ago, and a more thorough understanding of how Pegan actually works.
To conclude our article, here are a few more tips we’d like to add in order to help you make your Pegan experience successful and easier:
1. Start with either Paleo or Vegan. Pegan is already a combination of two diets. If you want to start somewhere, you can start by practicing Paleo or Vegan first. And once you’re fully adjusted, it will be easier for you to go full Pegan once you are ready.
2. Change your perspective. Don’t think of the rules as limits. Think of it as an avenue to consider other possibilities of eating and cooking. There are a lot of Pegan recipes online that you can follow, and who knows? One of these recipes might just introduce you to a food or drink that you never would have tasted in the first place if you didn’t go Pegan.
3. Enjoy it! You’re not restricting yourself from eating. Enjoy the delicious plant-based non-processed food and drinks that this world has to offer. And enjoy the life-changing health benefits you will start to experience at the same time!
So, after everything we have shared with you, what do you think of Pegan? Is it realistic? Have you tried it already? How’s your experience so far? Please don’t hesitate to share it with us in the comments section below. Stay healthy!