Very popular in Europe, the Pegan diet is also known as the Paleo-Vegan diet. As you may have guessed, this new food fad brings together Paleolithic and Vegan diet trends.
This is a surprising association since on the one hand, we want to eat like the “caveman” while on the other, we banish animals and all products made by animals. However, when you look at their commonalities, you get a surprisingly wholesome and he alth-winning diet. Curious to know more?
The creator: a “star” doctor
The Pegan diet was invented by American Mark Hyman MD, a family physician, internationally recognized speaker and bestselling author of ten New York Times number one books. For this scientist, the Paleo-Vegan diet represents “the most favorable diet for our he alth and that of our planet. It is ecologically sustainable and respects animal life”. Nothing less!
The ABCs of Paleolithic and Vegan diets
The Paleolithic diet has the philosophy that the ideal diet corresponds to that of our ancestors. Dr. S. BoydEaton's states that our genes determine our nutritional needs. And since our genes haven't changed (0.02%), that's why we should eat like our ancestors. The paleo diet, also called the ancestral diet, therefore relies on a diet low in carbohydrates but rich in fiber and protein. We favor lean meats, poultry, fish and seafood, eggs, nuts and seeds as well as low-starch fruits and vegetables (therefore, no potatoes, yams, etc.). However, this diet excludes dairy products, cereal products, legumes as well as s alty or processed foods (preserves, cakes, soft drinks, etc.).
For its part, the Vegan diet, also called veganism or veganism, represents the strictest form of vegetarianism. This diet is generally adopted by people who want better animal and environmental well-being. Therefore, all animal products are prohibited (e.g. meat, fish, eggs, dairy products), including honey and gelatin (often of porcine origin). In this diet of plant origin, the foods in the spotlight are fruits and vegetables, legumes, nuts and seeds as well as vegetable drinks (eg soy, almond).
What do Pegan dieters eat?
While the Paleolithic and Vegan diets seem opposed at first glance, they focus on sustainable diets, which promote fresh foods,whole and minimally processed.
Foods to eat
- Fruits and vegetables. Seventy-five (75%) of the Paleo-Vegan diet is based on the consumption of fruits and vegetables, especially those with a low glycemic load (eg apricots, strawberries, peaches, beets, carrots, turnips).
- Organic lean meat, ideally grass-fed, in small quantities. As fruits and vegetables are the stars of the Pégan diet, meat is never the central element of the meal. This is an accompaniment.
- Nuts and seeds. To get protein and good fats, the Pégan diet encourages the consumption of a large quantity of nuts and seeds (flax, hemp, sesame, pumpkin). For good fats, we also allow the consumption of fatty fish (eg sardines, wild salmon), olive oil, avocado and coconut.
- Whole grain, low glycemic index, gluten-free, in small quantities. Whole grains such as wild rice and quinoa are recommended, but not more than 125ml per day, as they raise blood sugar.
- Pulses in moderation. Legumes such as lentils are indicated but in controlled quantities, i.e. 250 ml per day.
Foods to avoid
- Soybeans. According to Pegan diet beliefs, soy disrupts hormones and is often genetically modified.
- Thedairy products. However, the diet allows organic products from goat or sheep, but only as an occasional treat.
- Gluten. If you are not sensitive to gluten, the diet allows you to consume it occasionally and in small quantities.
- Sugar and processed foods such as cookies, cakes, soft drinks and canned foods should be considered occasional treats.
As a nutritionist, I find it very interesting that the Paleo-Vegan diet encourages such a high consumption of plants in the form of fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds. A definitely winning strategy for our he alth! I also like that he sees meat as an accompaniment and not the star element of meals. Another beneficial strategy for our body but also for the he alth of the environment and that of our wallet. And no one can be against the idea of having a fresh and minimally processed diet, containing as little sugar, additives, colorings, etc. as possible.
However, I don't think it's necessary to be so restrictive with legumes and whole grains. Although these foods were not part of the diet of our ancestors, they provide essential and valuable nutrients such as protein, fiber and B vitamins.
Finally, whether you are "for" or "against" dairy products, the important thing is to adopt a dietbalanced and which provides us with all the necessary nutrients such as calcium. Personally, I drink milk and soy beverage…I eat grain products at least two to three times a day…I love legumes…and my he alth is doing really well!
By Julie DesGroseilliers, Dt. P.
Nutritionist and spokesperson for the I love 5 to 10 a day campaign