New Diet Way

- Apr 11, 2019-

While Americans are still in varying states of awareness about the keto, paleo and Whole 30 diets, along comes another new eating regimen, labeled "pegan".

This hybrid of "paleo" and "vegan" was introduced in a 2014 blog post by physician and author Mark Hyman.

After Hyman included the pegan diet in his February 2018 diet book, Food: What the Heck Should I Eat in February 2018, searches related to the pegan diet spiked, landing it on a number of trend lists for 2019.

While the pegan diet is more moderate - and potentially easier to follow - than either of its dietary parents, it does restrict many nutritious foods for reasons that aren't quite supported by science. Here are the pros and cons.

The pros: Lots of plants and healthy fats

The pegan diet is at its core a plant-based diet, which research shows is good for personal and planetary health. If you want to go pegan, plan to shop for a variety of deeply colored fruits and vegetables - they'll make up about 75 percent of your diet.

The cons: Going against the grains and dairy

The diet prohibits wheat and other gluten-containing grains, other than occasional intake of the ancient wheat einkorn, falsely claiming that most wheat is genetically modified "Frankenwheat".

The bottom line

The pegan diet restricts many nutrient-rich foods, partly because some people can't tolerate them. While it's true that some people are intolerant to lactose or gluten, or have trouble digesting the fiber in beans, that's not the case for most people.