Being on a diet is something every second person is doing today. There are so many diets and philosophies to choose from! Detox diets, weight loss diets, only liquid, crash diets, vegan, all-vegetarian, ketogenic, Paleo, flexitarian, rawpescatarian, Mediterranean, high-fat, only-cheese, low-carb...and the list is never ending.
Trying to find what you need can be very challenging. While some of these are considered healthy, most of them don't do what they say they do.
A very recent member of the diet family is the Pegan Diet.
The Pegan Diet was first introduced in 2015 by Dr. Mark Hyman. It is nothing but a hybrid or as it's being called "lovechild" of the Vegan and Paleo Diets. It incorporates the best of both into one. This is not a quick-fix diet that you go on for a short period till the desired results are achieved. It's a change in lifestyle. It's like a reboot of your computer and installing a new operating system.
What Is A Vegan Diet?
This diet incorporates eating a lot of plant-based, whole foods. Animal-based foods are completely avoided. As a result, a person on Vegan Diet gets the necessary fibre, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and healthy fats. But what they don't get is, vitamin B12, which is only present in animal-based products. Nor do they get the necessary amount of Omega-3 Fatty Acids, zinc, copper, etc.
These people also help the world to be a better place by avoiding products from animals that were tortured in the process of obtaining that product. Their Carbon Footprint is also reduced. But, it's not the healthiest of diets. You could eat sugary foods, soy, potato chips and a lot of beer and still call yourself Vegan.
What Is A Paleo Diet?
This diet has gained a lot of attention in the past six years. It is of the belief that the best food for our body, is the food that humans consumed back in the Paleolithic era, 10,000 years ago, before agriculture was incorporated. Everything that could have been easily available in nature. This is why it is also known as the "cavemen diet".
All kinds of processed foods, industrial meat, grains are to be avoided. Adherence to nuts, fruits, vegetables, fish and seeds is promoted. But some people have been using this as an excuse to eat just meat products. Their philosophy being, ancient men were hunters and fed on their catch's meat.
The main aim of a Pegan Diet is to avoid anything that spikes up your blood sugar level. This is because high blood sugar levels cause imbalances in hormones, increasing cravings for unhealthy foods. Thus, food that keeps your glucose level in check is so Pegan!
How To Go Pegan?
1. Eat more plants:
They should comprise of 65% of your everyday meal. The more the variety, the more colours, the healthier. Mostly non-starchy vegetables are recommended.
2. No sugar:
Stay away from that disaccharide! It wreaks havoc in your bloodstream. It spikes insulin levels, it creates hormonal imbalances and causes outbreaks from your skin. The high blood sugar levels alter your hormones in such a way that they make you crave unhealthy, quick-fix foods.
3. Go easy on fruits:
Fruits like berries, grapes and melons that are low on the glycemic index are recommended. These help you regulate your blood sugar level.
4. Healthy fat only:
These include Omega-3 Fatty Acids and other good fats we find in seeds, nuts and olive oil. Eating the saturated fats from grass-fed animals is also recommendable.
5. Avoid dairy:
An occasional dairy product is fine, but dairy does not work healthy for everyone. Trying goat and sheep products would be better than products from the cow.
Instead of the usual veggies on the side and meat as a meal, turn it the other way. Make meat a side-dish while you eat your heart's content of veggies and fruits.
7. No gluten:
Too much gluten damages the gut. The main source of gluten in our diet is wheat. Eat gluten-free whole grains instead. Since all grains increase your blood sugar, opt for healthier options like buckwheat, black rice, quinoa, etc.
8. Lesser Beans:
Beans are a great source of protein, minerals and fiber. But they also cause digestive problems in some. It hampers with mineral absorption and also causes surges in blood sugar levels if consumed in large quantities.
9. No chemicals:
Any food that contains pesticides, insecticides, GMO foods, antibiotics, hormones, additives, artificial sweeteners, preservatives, etc., should all be avoided. Anything that's not natural, is a strict no-no.
Some foods that work for you might not work on another. Thus, a personalized approach is necessary. Be aware of what you choose to eat, it matters.
Go healthy, go Pegan!