WHAT IS A PEGAN DIET?

The PEGAN diet is a hybrid diet consisting of PALEO and VEGAN values. Dr Mark Hyman, one of the biggest functional medicine doctors and influencers in nutrition, came up with the concept in 2014. His motto is “Eat Food. Not Too Much. Mostly Plants.” Click here to read his original blog post.

The Paleo diet limits grains, sugar, dairy, pulses, beans, processed foods, especially junk food. The downside is that it encourages a high animal protein consumption and its emphasis on low glycemic carbohydrates could mean a low fibre intake for some people.

The Vegan diet on the other hand enables you to consume a much higher amount of plant based foods, so fruit, vegetables, wholegrains, nuts seeds can be eaten a plenty, however crisps, vegan biscuits, vegan jelly sweets, vegan ice cream, vegan junk food etc are not off the menu which for some could lead to an unhealthy diet consisting of low nutritional value foods.

Where paleo lovers tend to over-do it on the meat and eat less fibre, the vegan gang may find vitamin B12 a problem if they don’t supplement and plant iron is hard to absorb, therefore deficiencies are more common.

Eating a paleo or vegan diet can be very restrictive. There are definitely pros and cons to both camps, therefore meeting in the middle in my opinion makes perfect dietary sense for overall health and wellbeing. You get the benefits of a high fibre whole food plant based diet whilst being able to eat foods rich in vitamin B12, D, omega 3 and iron without thinking about it.

A PLANT BASED PEGAN way of eating means you eat mainly plants, in their whole form whilst limiting but not excluding free range eggs, wild farmed fish, grass fed or game meat. Gluten and dairy are not necessarily off the menu (Hyman would insist they are), but those who are sensitive to these foods would be wise to limit/exclude them and instead opt for natural live yoghurt and eat sheep/goats cheese in small quantities if you can’t give them up.

WHAT TO EAT ON A PLANT BASED PEGAN DIET
70-80% vegetables, fruit, wholegrains. 20-30% nuts, seeds, non-refined olive/coconut oil, free range eggs, wild fish, grass fed meat or game, goat/sheep cheese, natural yoghurt.

WHAT NOT TO EAT ON A PLANT BASED PEGAN DIET
Processed foods, refined sugar, refined oils, alcohol, gluten, dairy, gluten free substitute food (bread, pasta, biscuits), any junk food, sweets, ready made foods with a long shelf life, ready made foods that have a long list of unrecognisable ingredients.

Moral of this diet story? Eat more fruit and veg and less processed junk, limit your starch intake to wholegrains, take it easy on the healthy plant fats and be kind to the environment by eating ethically farmed animals in small quantities. Eat fresh, cook from scratch, eat real, whole food but enjoy it at the same time. This is a long term strategy for healthy eating, not a short term fix or fad.

A personalised approach to a healthy lifestyle.

Female Fitness and Food

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