The 20th century saw diets becoming the holy grail of ultimate lifestyle. Fads with varying results have been obsessing people for decades—the Atkins diet, South Beach diet, vegan diet, ketogenic, paleo diet, zone diet, Dukan diet, the 5:2 diet, etc. have led to the booming diet and weight loss industry to become a $71 billion industry. Adding to the plethora is the pegan diet which combines the paleo diet and veganism. The theory here is that opposites attract.
The pegan diet combines the unprocessed food our hunter-gatherer ancestors ate with plant-based food. The principle behind this diet is that it is nutrient-rich. Whole foods reduce inflammation, maintain blood sugar levels and keep the body in age-appropriate peak condition. The pegans must ensure 75 percent of their food is plant-based and the other 25 per cent lean meats. Plant-based foods have high amounts of antioxidants and fibre, which promotes digestion and gut health.
Though the diet’s focus is on vegetables and fruits, it is assumed that moderate amounts of meat, certain fish, nuts, seeds, and some legumes make the combo a better bet. Of course, say no to heavily processed sugars, oil, and grain. The difference between the pegan diet and others is that it is not an immediate solution or even a short-term diet, but instead must be lifelong. And one advantage is that though it tells you what to eat, it doesn’t tell you how much.
The following items are recommended
✥ All vegetables and fruits, mostly low-glycemic fruits like cherries, strawberries, pears and apples.
✥ Dairy alternatives without added sugar, such as coconut yoghurt
✥ Eggs, nuts and seeds except peanuts
✥ Oils rich in healthy fats, such as avocado or olive oil
✥ Organic, grass-fed sustainably raised meats and poultry
✥ Fish, with low-mercury content, such as anchovies, salmon, and sardines
✥ One cup a day of beans, lentils, black rice, quinoa
Benefits of pegan diet
✥ Lowers blood sugar and reduces the risk of Type II diabetes and heart disease.
✥ Recommends nutrient-loaded foods and avoids processed food.
What the diet prohibits
✥ Bread, grain
✥ Dairy products, including milk, cheese, ice cream, or yogurt
✥ Foods with added sugar or a high glycemic index
✥ Processed foods
The downside to it is that cooking time is longer. Having sustainably raised meat and fish to meet proteins makes it an expensive diet to follow. Since it skips almost all legumes and grains, the body is robbed of Vitamin B and fibre. Also health supplements become mandatory due to the lack of calcium and protein from dairy products. Added disclaimer: Studies say diets don’t work 95 per cent of the time.