I recently came across a great article by Dr. Mark Hyman addressing whether the vegan diet is better than paleo? A question that has probably crossed a lot of minds lately. Based on new research findings, Hyman points out that picking one of the two is completely unnecessary and that both have a lot of overlapping theories that all promote optimal health. And then he introduces a new middle ground way of eating that makes it all a whole lot simpler for those who aren’t quite keen to cut meat or grains completely… The pegan diet.
Research show that people who eat vegetarian/vegan diets typically have lower body weight and an overall better health profile with decreased chances of diabetes, healthier cholesterol levels and decreased risk of cardiovascular disease. Yet the same is true for the paleo diet. In fact, studies point out that the paleo diet improves blood pressure, cholesterol levels and encourages weight loss. The conversation can get heated, as each camp dogmatically adheres to their diet and cherry-pick studies validating their point of view.
What’s an eater to do?
Dr. Hyman introduces the Pegan (paleo-vegan) way of eating, which combines both diets’ strengths and focuses on real, whole, fresh and sustainably raised food.
Becoming A Pegan…
Becoming a Pegan means you don’t worry about focusing on how much you eat. When you focus on what you eat, your body’s natural appetite control systems kick into gear and you eat less.
1. Eat a low-glycemic load.
Focus on more protein and fats, including nuts (not peanuts), seeds (flax, chia, hemp, sesame, pumpkin), coconut, avocados, sardines and olive oil.
2. Eat the right fats.
Steer clear of vegetable oils, including soybean oil, which now comprises about 10% of our calories. Focus instead on omega-3 fats, nuts, coconut, avocados, and yes, even saturated fat from grass-fed or sustainably raised animals.
3. Eat mostly plants.
Plant should form 75% of your diet and your plate.
4. Focus on nuts and seeds.
They are full of protein, minerals, and good fats, plus they lower the risk of heart disease and diabetes.
5. Avoid dairy.
Dairy is great for growing calves into cows, but not for humans. Try organic goat or sheep products, but only as a treat.
6. Avoid gluten.
Most is from Franken Wheat, so look for heirloom wheat (Einkorn). If you are not sensitive to gluten, then consider it an occasional treat.
7. Eat gluten-free whole grains sparingly.
They still raise blood sugar and can trigger autoimmunity.
8. Eat beans sparingly.
Lentils are best. Stay away from big starchy beans.
9. Eat meat or animal products as a condiment.
There’s no need to make animal products the main course.
10. Think of sugar as an occasional treat.
Use it sparingly.
Read the whole article here. The original article goes into much more detail on the similarities and differences between the vegan and paleo diet.
Image via MindBodyGreen.com