You’ve probably already heard of veganism and the paleo diet. Both diets have great benefits and large followings. Those who go for a vegan diet have lower risk of developing cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. The biggest benefit of a paleo diet is that you consume nothing that is processed, which is great for your overall health.
When you combine the best parts of each diet, you get a new hybrid, complete with a playful portmanteau name: the pegan diet. If you’re following it, you’re allowed to consume fruits, vegetables, animal protein, grains, high-quality fats, and lentils (excluding pinto beans and peanuts). Foods to avoid include dairy, soy, and sugar.
If you’re not willing to give up meat and grains entirely, then this lifestyle may be perfect for you. “The pegan diet lessens the restrictive nature of each of the diets, which also makes it more sustainable long-term,” says Molly Kimball, RD, CSSD, sports dietitian with Ochsner’s Elmwood Fitness Center in New Orleans.
Kimball likes this approach as it’s focused heavily on plant-based foods (75 percent vegetables and fruit), while the remainder is protein and healthy fats. “While I often recommend more protein and healthy fats than a combined 25% of the diet, this is likely more protein than many typical vegan diets.” (If you’ve been thinking about cutting meat out of your diet, some recent scientific findings back up that decision. You might want to take a look at Plant Protein, Alkaline Diets, and the Carnivore’s Lie).
If you’re afraid that you won’t get enough nutrients from this diet, Kimball says you have nothing to worry about. “The Pegan diet is one that’s nutrient rich, loaded with phytochemicals, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and fiber, yet still provides enough protein, fat for optimal muscle, and hormone functioning.”
If you think this diet might fit your lifestyle — and your body’s needs — try it out for a couple of weeks and keep track of how you feel. You may end up deciding that this labradoodle of healthy dieting is right for you.
More paleo and vegan options…