YOU’VE probably heard of the Paleo diet but in 2019, it’s getting a green makeover.
The “Pegan Diet” is set to be the next big thing – and it’s the vegan version of the caveman regime.
The diet has been created by Dr Mark Hyman, and searches for it on Pinterest have shot up an astronomical 337 per cent since last year – with interest really increasing over the past six months.
But what exactly can you eat on the Pegan diet and is it any good for you?
What is Paleo?
The Paleo diet is based on the foods that our hunter-gatherer ancestors would have eaten.
It’s supposed to help reduce your weight and risk of developing chronic diseases through a massive dose of protein and a total cut in grains, bad fats and dairy.
So you’re supposed to eat a lot of lean meat, tonnes of fresh fruit and veg and healthy fats from things like nuts.
In fact, it’s really similar to Keto – they’re both anti-carb and refined sugars. But while most of your calories on Keto come from fat, most of your calories on Paleo come from protein.
So how does Pegan work?
Well, Pegan is simply Paleo…but with a heavy concentration on plant-based foods. It’s not vegan – it’s vegan inspired.
Paleo is all about the lean meat and fish, but this plan is about living 75 per cent vegan, 25 per cent omnivorous. all it really means is cutting out grains and legumes on top of meat.
So that means allowing around 75 per cent of your daily food to become fruit and veg, with the rest getting calories from nuts and seeds, and plantbased protein sources.
What does a day of Pegan eating look like?
Dr Oz’s Pegan 365 Diet Plan suggests eating every day:
- 5 + cups of veg
- 4 servings of carbs from veg like sweet potatoes, corn or squash
- 2 servings of vegan proteins like beans, tofu, tempeh, seeds and 1 animal protein source like eggs or oily fish
- 2 servings of fats like avocado, nut butter, oil
- 1 serving of dairy substitute like nut milk or cheese, non-dairy yoghurt
By its very nature, it’s going to be low calorie, so it’s bound to help with weight loss and maintenance.
Should you go Pegan?
Well it just depends if you can live on such a restrictive plan.
Veganism tends to be really rich in all kinds of carb – but with Pegan you’re essentially on an ultra-low carb, mostly plant-based diet with the odd egg or lean meat thrown in.
Helen Bond, Registered Dietician, told The Sun: “Whilst it is great that the Pegan Diet encourages people to eat more plant foods, especially fruit and vegetables and getting people to cook from scratch, I do not recommend the exclusions of foods like dairy, wheat or legumes without any known medical need.
“These foods provide many essential nutrients like bone-building calcium, energising B vitamins and gut and heart-healthy fibre which are needed for overall health and well being.
“If you want to eat better for your overall health, just eat a balanced diet at every meal as shown in Public Health England’s Eatwell guide – it’s not complicated, selective or restrictive and it’s an eating pattern which also prioritises plant foods, but that you can stick to for life without feeling like your missing out.
“Small changes can really make a big difference to your long-term health.”
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It’s important to point out that veganism isn’t a diet – it’s a belief that animals deserve to be treated well.
If you are interested in going fully vegan, then Pegan might be a good place to transition from.
Before you embark on any new diet, you might want to just have a chat with your GP or a dietician about how to go about making sure that you get all the vital vitamins and minerals you need.
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