The Pegan diet is a modified version of the Paleo and Vegan diets. The Pegan diet takes the best, most healthful qualities of both diets, creating an eating style that combines the best of two worlds!
A little background: The Paleo (or “caveman”) diet, includes foods that our hunter-gatherer ancestors ate: meat, fish, eggs, vegetables, and fruit. Grains, legumes, sugars, processed foods,and most dairy products are forbidden. A vegan diet consists of vegetables, fruits, grains, nuts, and seeds—and prohibits anything that comes from an animal.
According to Mark Hyman, MD, the Pegan diet looks like this:
- Focus on the glycemic load of your diet. This can be done on a vegan or paleo diet, but harder on a vegan diet. Focus on more protein and fats. Nuts (not peanuts), seeds (flax, chia, hemp, sesame, pumpkin), coconut, avocados, sardines, olive oil.
- Eat the right fats. Stay away from most vegetable oils such as canola, sunflower, corn, and especially soybean oil which now comprises about 10 percent of our calories. Focus instead on omega 3 fats, nuts, coconut, avocados and yes, even saturated fat from grass fed or sustainably raised animals.
- Eat mostly plants – lots of low glycemic vegetables and fruits. This should be 75 percent of your diet and your plate. I usually make 2 to 3 vegetable dishes per meal.
- Focus on nuts and seeds. They are full of protein, minerals, and good fats and they lower the risk of heart disease and diabetes.
- Avoid dairy – it is for growing calves into cows, not for humans. Try goat or sheep products and only as a treat. And always organic.
- Avoid gluten – Most is from Franken Wheat – so look for heirloom wheat (Einkorn); if you are not gluten sensitive, then consider it an occasional treat.
- Eat gluten-free whole grains sparingly– they still raise blood sugar and can trigger autoimmunity.
- Eat beans sparingly – lentils are best. Stay away from big starchy beans.
- Eat meat or animal products as a condiment, not a main course. Read The Third Plateby Dan Barber to understand how shifts in our eating habits could save the environment and ourselves. Vegetables should take center stage and meat should be a side dish.
- Think of sugar as an occasional treat – in all its various forms (i.e., use occasionally and sparingly).
As much research I did, I could not find a complete list of Pegan foods, so as a Registered Dietitian, I decided to make one!
PEGAN FOOD LIST:
Fruits and Vegetables
- Nuts and Seeds (walnuts, pistachios, cashews, almonds, flax seed, chia seed, sesame seed, pumpkin)
- Olive Oil
- Sesame Seed Oil
- Coconut Oil
- Avocado Oil
- Beans (Limit 1 cup per day)
- Acorn Squash
- Winter Squash
- Sweet Potato
- Wild Rice (limit to 1/2 cup per meal)
- Black Rice (limit to 1/2 cup per meal)
- Quinoa (limit to 1/2 cup per meal)
- Almond Flour
- Coconut Flour
- Coconut flakes
- Maple syrup
- Agave Nectar
- Seeds and Nuts
- Nutritional Yeast
Animal Protein (25% or less of plate)
- Grass-Fed Meat
- Decaf Teas
- Unsweetened almond milk
- Unsweetened coconut milk
- Goat’s milk yogurt
- Coconut cream
- Coconut Aminos
- Fish Sauce
- Almond Flour
- Coconut Flour
- Yam Noodles/Shirataki Noodles
Article by; the thin kitchen