The Pegan diet.
The Pegan diet allows you to have the best of two diet worlds.
This is the world of Paleo and Vegan.
These two diets have been fused together to produce the aptly named Pegan Diet. Can you see how this name has been formed!!??
Now great as the Paleo and Vegan diets are, they are quite restrictive. So here comes along the Pegan diet, yes I know another diet, but this diet takes on the principles of both diets to give us more choice.
Although still a restrictive diet, yes there are rules to follow, sorry. The Pegan diet give us a little more choice, as we can eat meat and grains.
Meat is a big no-no on the Vegan diet and on the Paleo diet, you have to kiss goodbye to grains.
So if you want a diet where you can eat meat and grains. Peganism could be for you!! (Not sure if Peganism is a phrase, but it seems to fit!!)
The Vegan diet
The Vegan diet promotes the use of plant-based foods but restricts the use of animal proteins. As a result, Vegans can be low in protein, omega fatty acids and vitamin B12. Dr Hyman the mastermind behind the Pegan diet says,
“Vegans are also unlikely to be getting the amount of quality proteins and essential amino acids they require, especially as they age. It’s possible to find sufficient amounts in non-animal sources, but it is incredibly challenging. But they’re definitely not getting B12 because it only comes from animal foods”
I agree we must all be less cruel and do good to save the world. But we must also do good to look after ourselves with nourishing foods. And removing a great source of protein can be challenging to the body.
Essential Amino Acids
There are 22 amino acids that are vital for a healthy functioning body. 13 amino acids are made by the body. The remaining 9 have to come from the foods we eat. We need 9 essential amino acids which we can only get from eating foods.
Meat easily provides these 9 essential amino acids. Yes, we can get sources of protein (amino acids) from plants, but it’s not that easy. It would require a wide range of plants to get them into the diet.
There is a way of getting amino acids into the diet as a Vegan. This is by eating chia and hemp seeds. Chia and hemp seeds contain all 9 essential acids. And they can easily be added to foods. However, they’re less digestible as meat so they’re not as available to the body as meat.
These seeds should be a part of every Vegan’s diet. But I’d guess that not everyone will enjoy the nutty taste of seeds. So a lot of Vegans are possibly not getting an adequate intake of essential amino acids.
Should you follow a Pegan diet instead of a Vegan diet?
Following a Pegan diet allows you to eat a small amount of meat. This doesn’t make you Vegan of course, but you’ll be lowering consumption of animal foods dramatically as 75% of your diet must be plant-based.
Grass-fed meat must be eaten on the Pegan diet. Grass-fed meat is lower in calories than normal meat. It contains less fat, contains healthy fatty acids such as CLA (conjugated linoleic acid), omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids. Essential fatty acids can be lacking in a Vegan diet.
You’ll also be getting good levels of vitamins and minerals. Especially vitamin B12, which can only be obtained by eating meat.
And you’ll also be eating protein and getting adequate amounts of essential amino acids.
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The Paleo diet
So we’ve seen that a Vegan diet restricts meat.
A total opposite is the Paleo diet.
The Paleo diet also known as the Paleolithic diet, Stone Age diet, hunter-gatherer diet and caveman diet promotes eating how we would have eaten 10000 years ago, when fast food and processed foods were not available.
This diet allows you to eat meat. Like the Pegan diet, it encourages you to eat grass-fed meat. But heavily restricts you eating foods produced through farming methods. If you wouldn’t have been able to pick it or kill it then you don’t have it.
Today, many of our foods are processed, 10000+ years ago there were no ways of processing foods. And fans of the Paleo diet believe this processing has led to the presence of modern diseases.
Due to this, grains, legumes (beans, lentils and peas), dairy, sugar, salt, potatoes and processed foods are avoided.
Should you follow a Pegan diet instead of a Paleo diet?
The Pegan diet restricts most of the foods that the Paleo diet restricts. But it does allow small amounts of grains.
But there’s a rule!!
The rule is that the grain must be gluten-free.
Eating gluten-free grains can be beneficial for many people. Like myself, many people suffering from diseases find grains particularly problematic. Grains can be highly inflammatory, can cause issues with the immune system and raise blood sugars. So, sufferers of autoimmune diseases, chronic pain and diabetes can benefit from this way of eating.
Gluten causes many issues with digestion and immunity. So a gluten-free rule can benefit many people with diseases sensitive to gluten.
Should you be a Pegan?
As with everything I write and aim to write in the future, my goal is to research stuff and provide the information to you.
I’m impartial when it comes to diet as I believe you have to find what works for you. The person. The individual. Due to this, it’s worth experimenting with using principles from many diets to find what works or not.
A Vegan or Paleo diet could be for you. But if you’re struggling due to not being able to eat meats or grains. Then, yes, becoming a Pegan maybe for you.
There’s rules to follow!
But remember, as with all diets there are rules to follow. And with the Pegan diet, this means eating grass-fed meats and gluten-free grains in small amounts. It recommends that 75% of your diet should be low glycemic fruits and vegetables. Nuts (not peanuts) and seeds are encouraged. And dairy and legumes are avoided. So take this into account if you wish to follow this diet to a tee.
As with many diets, there are elements of the Pegan diet that are useful. For me, eating small amounts of meat and grains, and eating a diet which is 75% plant-based is good for me, my health and the diseases I have.
But in all honesty, grass-fed meat is great but it wouldn’t be too great on my pocket, so this wouldn’t be an option for me. I enjoy and can tolerate eating small amounts of dairy and legumes, and don’t wish to stop eating them. And I like to feel free when I’m eating, I want a treat from time to time and don’t want to feel bound to something. Have been there in the past and not for me now.
Give it a go!!
Now, although this diet isn’t for me.
The Pegan diet could be for you! Especially if you’ve toyed with the idea of following a Vegan or Paleo diet. It can be a step towards following these diets.
The health benefits of the Pegan diet are fantastic, so this may be a great option if you need a diet to manage your disease.
So, if you know you need meat and grains in your diet then I see no reason why you shouldn’t give the Pegan diet a try!!
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I’m Cheryl. I’m on a quest to help and share what I’ve learnt about nutrition, yoga, autoimmune disease, hormones and joint disease.
I’m a sufferer of the above diseases and have used yoga and nutrition to manage my illnesses. Success with my health led me to become a qualified Nutritional Therapist and Yoga Teacher.