As we all know it most Paleos and vegans don’t get along at all. But what if there was a type of diet that could actually balance the two of them?
Our science really shifted from one diet ideal to another, confusing all of us (first fat-free, then sugar-free, etc.). I came across Dr. Mark Hyman, who felt the same way when reviewing the studies and results of the Paleo diet and the vegan diet, all of which cherry-picked, poorly compared and often overlooked details. To make a long story short, he made up the pegan diet: a paleo-vegan diet (or soon-to-be lifestyle) that focuses on consuming an abundance of wholesome plant-based fruits and vegetables with a moderate portion of grass-fed and well-raised meat (including non-contaminated fish), while implementing low-glycemic carbs, essential fats (saturated being one of them!) and adequate protein. There are obviously no real extremes such as macro ratios, time windows or cooking method restriction such as those of raw vegan, raw till 4, keto, iifym, or 80/10/10. Hyman also suggests moderating/eliminating cow dairy (goat’s or sheep’s is tolerated), grains (especially gluten), beans, refined sugars, antibiotics, hormones, and chemical toxins. And not to say that all doctors look like scary intimidating people, but he actually looks like a nice guy!
What I really like about Hyman’s pegan diet is that it focuses on quality. In order to be evident, Hyman cites, you have to read between the lines. Oftentimes certain cults just shun food categories all together without looking at the health benefits of the food depending on where it came from. For instance, vegans have held the “beef causes cancer” mantra for generations, but that “beef” came from GMO grain-fed cows injected with antibiotics and hormones, plus the beef probably got carcinogens from the way it was cooked. But organic, hormone free and grass fed beef, as we all know it, is composed waaaaaay differently than that Burger King shizzle. Same goes with the war on eggs, which are highly enforced on this diet (yummy!!)! If you were to compare a healthy vegetarian diet with a healthy omnivorous diet (also backed up by activity, age, height, weight, sugar consumption, smoking, drugs, alcohol, a bunch of other factors that probably tweaked the results by a lot), there would be a much different result and less of a difference in heart disease. Sure, there are plenty of ethical and environmental reasons that back up avoidance of meat and dairy, but it’s important that there are such things as sustainably raised animal products/byproducts.
Which diet is peganism closer to? It may be closer to Paleo because it encourages plenty of healthy fats, minimal fruits and minimal carbs (sometimes no grains at all!). Hyman does believe high sugar fruits should be eliminated on a detox diet and the human body can survive with only very minimal to no carbohydrates, which are nightmares to HCLF vegans. However, it could be closer to veganism since there is no dairy, a +75% emphasis on plant-based foods and meat is considered a condiment; how could a Paleo or keto survive without meat in every meal? IMO, it should be its ooooooown daaaaaaaamm thang.
One of the first questions that lit up after hearing about peganism is whether or not it’s going to be the next hottest thing on the market. It’s a very promising type of diet that can definitely be promoted as a new lifestyle; its claims and guidelines seem very credible, evidence-based, and beneficial to those with major health problems in our society today (No calorie counting, no crazy crossfit routine, only the best quality foods that are part of nature!). While I’m currently in the process of adapting lacto-ovo-vegetarianism and seeing how long I can survive (which in a week is going out the window when my carnivorous relatives take me in for their internship!), I would definitely give the pegan life a try.
(But first I have some Elli Quark to finish. And a few Quest bars to buy and eat.)
If you would like to visit Hyman’s website and explore the Pegan life you can do so down below. Highly recommend him–he’s one of the most practical, honest and inspiring medical doctors I’ve heard of!
- Full Website: http://drhyman.com/
- The Pegan Diet: http://drhyman.com/blog/2014/11/07/pegan-paleo-vegan/
Have you every heard of the Pegan diet and would you try it?