At Integrative Nutrition we pride ourselves on teaching a wide array of dietary theories. While most nutrition schools teach one diet that they claim works for everyone, we recognize that nutrition is an emerging science with new information available to us on a daily basis. We hold true to the principle of bio-individuality, meaning no one diet (or lifestyle) works for everyone.
You’ve probably heard of the paleo diet and the vegan diet, as both are wildly popular. In my 30 or more years of teaching and health coaching, I’ve seen many people thrive on the paleo diet, and many others thrive on the vegan diet, as they both boast benefits and have loyal followings.
Even Beyoncé has boldly proclaimed that she’s officially vegan after testing the waters for 22 days with her husband Jay-Z. She said it helped her lose weight and keep it off, and makes her skin feel much firmer and tighter, as opposed to when she used fad diets to lose weight quickly in the past.
Paleo and vegan can both be great for different people, but many people who follow these diets have at least a couple health complaints connected to their new eating style.
What if there was one universal diet that could actually be the answer for more energy and vitality for most people? The eating approach that might be the new big thing for ultimate health is the pegan diet, pioneered by my friend Dr. Mark Hyman. I’m seeing a big rise in the adaptation of pegan, and people are reporting they feel better than ever.
The pegan approach combines both paleo and vegan principles and addresses underlying health issues that many paleo people and vegans face. That’s not to say that paleo or vegan won’t work for anyone, but if you’re struggling you might want to try the pegan approach for holistic, high-level health.
So what is pegan exactly?
The pegan diet includes a plethora of vegetables, low-glycemic fruit, and healthy fats along with very moderate amounts of grains and beans and high-quality, grass-fed, and/or organic animal foods like fish, eggs, and meat.
Foods to avoid completely when taking the pegan approach include processed foods, sugar, gluten, conventionally-raised animal products, vegetable oils, and most dairy.
Five benefits of the pegan diet are these:
- Full-spectrum health. When eating from a wide range of food groups, you get far more nutrients than when following a narrow diet plan. This will lead to greatly improved immunity, therefore less risk of getting sick. Eating from many different food groups also increases life span.
- Flexibility and satisfaction. When you’re not bound to a strict dietary approach, it’s likely that you’ll feel less emotionally tense and uptight and more calm and relaxed, knowing that you have many food choices. When you allow yourself a variation of foods, you’re more likely to satisfy your physical needs and cravings and feel deeply nurtured.
- Decreased risk of anemia. A lot of vegans report low iron levels and even anemia. By eating small amounts of animal foods, it’s less likely you’ll face anemia and the symptoms that go along with it, such as low blood pressure, chronic fatigue, low sex drive, and more.
- Better skin. A big cause of skin problems is lack of adequate healthy fats in the diet like olive oil, avocado and even grass-fed butter. Eating these foods balances oil production, heals blemishes, and makes skin glow. Increase your healthy fat intake for gorgeous skin.
- Improved digestion. When you eat lots of fibrous vegetables and fruits, your digestive system improves. Small amounts of grass-fed meat also improve elimination as they warm the digestive system and increase the speed and efficacy of metabolism and therefore digestion.
Seems pretty great, right?
The goal here is to combine the benefits of both the paleo and vegan approach to create vibrant health while maintaining flexibility in the diet.
When you have more options in your diet, you’re more likely to be satisfied with your food and therefore eat the portion that’s right for you and lose or maintain weight and feel totally healthy. The pegan approach also makes it much easier to dine in restaurants and at social events.
It seems like pegan is the new thing to try for ultimate health and wellness. Would you try it? Have you experimented with paleo, vegan, or some combination diet like pegan?
I can’t wait to hear from you in the comments below. Spread the word and be heard. Share this story with your friends!