What is the Pegan Diet and Would It Be Good for You?

The pegan diet is a hot new trend of 2019. But what is it and would it be good for you?

Susan Selasky of the Detroit Free Press reported that searches for the pegan diet were up 337 percent leading up to the new year on Pinterest. Dr. Mark Hyman invented the pegan diet — a combination of the paleo and vegan diets. That might sound odd: people following the vegan diet don’t eat any part of an animal and paleo calls for a lot of meat and fish. They do however agree that a diet should be based on whole, unprocessed foods.

That point is where pegan spawned. The pegan diet calls for a lot of plants. It states that 75 percent of your diet should be fruits and vegetables. The remainder should be nuts and seeds, meat, fish and eggs. It suggests meat and eggs should come from grass-fed animals and consumed in smaller portions. Fish should be high in oil and low in mercury, like sardines. Any dairy should come from goats or sheep. The diet alleges that this is because they are easier to digest. Sugar and gluten are off the menu. Grain should be limited to half a cup per meal and legumes should be less than a cup a day.

Desiree Nielsen is a registered dietitian who, when asked about the pegan diet by USA Today, said it was a great inspiration concept but far too restrictive. Using the principles might be a healthy idea for people but, “for many of us, living by a restrictive rule-focused diet may not be healthy for our body or our minds.” The diet claims to be the healthiest of the new trend diets.

Healthline points out that gluten and dairy have no adverse health impacts if you aren’t allergic to them. They also stress that cutting out a broad swath of foods can cause nutrient deficiencies. Moreover, the organic produce and grass-fed meat are more expensive than other options and so are not accessible to all and the meal prep time required when eating nothing processed is a luxury some cannot afford.

“The general, real-life design of the pegan diet is okay at best,” Jaclyn London, MS, RD, CDN, Nutrition Director at the Good Housekeeping Institute says. “There are a lot of claims surrounding what makes specific attributes of specific diets so ‘life-changing’ these days, but in large part we’re buying into marketing instead of general tenants of health and wellbeing.”

We’d love to hear your thoughts on the pegan diet. Is it something you’ll be trying this year? Send us an email at socialmedia@neulivenhealth.com!

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