WTF Is the Pegan Diet? (and Would You Try It?)

Hint: It isn't just the Paleo diet gone vegan.



What do you get when you combine two of the most popular — and controversial — diets out there? The Pegan diet. Vegan plus Paleo equals Pegan, get it?

But if you’re thinking the Pegan diet is just a vegan form of the Paleo diet, think again: The diet, created by Dr. Mark Hyman, who has a slew of diet books like The 10-Day Detox Diet and The UltraSimple Diet under his belt, actually takes, what he considers to be, the best of both worlds and combines the two diets into something that is no longer vegan (there’s meat involved) or strictly Paleo.

Yahoo Health talked with Hyman to get the lowdown on the diet, which they call the “better-for-you child of Paleo and Vegan,” and here’s the basic gist: Pegans can eat unlimited fruits and veggies, small amounts of gluten-free grains, legumes, nuts and seeds, and small amounts of meat  (Hyman suggests thinking of meat more as a condiment to give dishes more flavor) and eggs. Like the traditional Paleo diet, dairy, gluten and added sugar are all no-nos. And like the vegan diet, veggies take up the most room on your plate.

So if you’re just using meat in small portions, why include it at all? Hyman explains his reasoning in a January 2015 blog post titled “Why I am a Pegan — or Paleo-Vegan — and Why You Should Be Too!”:

“Eating sustainably raised, clean meat, poultry and lamb and other esoteric meats such as ostrich, bison or venison as part a healthy diet is not likely harmful and is very helpful in reducing triglycerides, raising HDL (or good cholesterol), lowering blood sugar, reducing belly fat, reducing appetite, raising testosterone and increasing muscle mass. On the other hand, eating a lot of meat puts pressure on the planet – more water use, more climate change, and more energy inputs. Eat meat as a side dish or condiment, and only consume grass fed and sustainably-raised.”

Now, obviously this diet doesn’t work for folks who adhere to a vegan or vegetarian diet for ethical reasons and, according to our poll, that covers nearly 70 percent of vegans. But Paleo devotees might be swayed by the Pegan diet’s seemingly more laid-back guidelines. What do you think, Paleo fans: Would you go Pegan?

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