Now that we have a basic idea of what makes up a proper pegan diet, we
should look at the principles or the tenets behind the pegan diet. These are
tenets that one has to be aware of, as it may be confusing to just use the rule
of thumb. After all, a vegan diet is clear; one can only eat plant-based things.
A paleo diet is also fairly clear: one should eat simple, unprocessed foods.
However, as a pegan diet is separate and less restrictive, the limitations and
tenets are not as intuitive. To put it simply, the Pegan diet’s recommendations
are basically sound: fresh, locally sourced, preferably organic food; nothing
refined or processed; and a focus on not raising blood sugar. Hyman has
stated that the pegan diet can be defined by one simple rule: “If God made it,
eat it; if man made it, leave it.”
Focus on having a mainly plant-based diet
The first tenet is that one should mostly have a plant-based diet. Though, as
we stated earlier, the consumption of animal proteins is allowed, most of the
things one eats should be plant-based. In fact, a good rule of thumb to go byis half or a bit more than half of one’s plate should be filled with vegetables
at the minimum. About seven or eight cups of vegetables and fruits a day are
the World Health Organization’s recommendation.
They would serve as a great starting point. However, not all plant-based foods should be indulged in
great quantities. Some foods, such as starchy vegetables like potatoes and
squash, should be more limited. Most of the vegetable portion is leafy greens
instead. One of the aims of this diet is to help regulate one’s blood sugar,
meaning that prioritizing low — glycemic index foods is important to the
diet, and having foods high in simple carbohydrates, high glycemic — index
foods would defeat the purpose.
Also, fruits should be limited, along with the same principles behind limiting
starchy vegetables. However, this tip is more for those who are still
overweight and have a greater need to manage blood sugar. If one has no
blood sugar problems, most fruit is fine. Suppose one is plagued with
managing their blood sugar, however, mostly low. In that case, glycemic
index fruits should be consumed, with sweeter fruits being treated every so
often, being treated more like candy than a regular part of one’s dinner plate.
Make sure to consume healthy fats
The second tenet would be to aim mostly to consume healthy fats. Fats are a
very important part of one’s nutrition, but remember that it is best consumed
in its whole food form. Some of these better fats would be found in
unprocessed foods such as nuts, seeds, avocados, olive oil. Some animal
products with healthier fats would be eggs and some fatty fish such as
salmon, mackerel, herring, and sardines. Using extra virgin olive oil or
avocado oil, or even coconut oil to garnish uncooked dishes such as salads
or to use when cooking would help.
Remember that as this is not a vegan diet, animal and saturated fat from unprocessed sources is allowed, such as
meats, fish, eggs, or even butter or ghee. Note, however, that saturated fat is
very bad for you if it is combined with refined sugars and starches. Also,
common oils such as vegetable, bean, and seed oils tend to be very
processed. Thus, they are not recommended to be used.
Consume Meat in Moderation
One of the most surprising things that people notice about the pegan diet is
that it allows meat to be eaten, even if it takes a lot from the vegan diet.
However, even if the meat is allowed, it is recommended that it is kept to asmall amount per meal. In fact, it should act as more of a side dish or
condiment, with the vegetables making up the majority of the meal. Some
animal protein forms can be consumed other than poultry or grass-fed beef,
such as insects. However, this may be only for the more adventurous souls.
Eat whole grains and beans
Make sure to include only whole grains in your diet, and ignore other types
of grains. In fact, even grain flours should be avoided. However, these
should still be limited to small portions of whole grains to about one cup
maximum per meal. Even though some grains can have high protein content,
the focus should still be on leafy vegetables.
Beans are another good inclusion, but starchy beans should be avoided. However, lentils and other
similar beans are good for you as they are great for introducing fiber, protein,
and minerals in one’s diet, though they should be cooked thoroughly to limit
the number of digestion problems that one may end up having; thanks to bean
Avoid processed sugars
While sugar need not be totally eliminated from one’s diet, processed sugars
should be avoided as much as possible, as the pegan diet aims to steer us
away from anything that could spike insulin production and elevate blood
sugar. However, this does not mean one is banned from eating sugary things.
Still, consumption should be extremely limited, and this should be seen as a
treat and not a regular item in your diet.
Limit Dairy Consumption
People who adhere to the vegan diet or the paleo end up missing the most are
dairy. Dairy products are one of the favorite products of people worldwide.
The fact that paleo and vegan diets limit this is one hump that many people
have a hard time getting over. In this case, with the pegan diet, dairy is
permissible. However, thanks to the high impact dairy have on the
environment, due to the production process, it is advised that it is to be
consumed in limited amounts, and as much as possible, sourced from
sustainable sources. However, dairy is a good protein source and can be
treated as such.
Avoid chemicals and preservativesAs much as possible, chemicals and preservatives should be avoided in
foods. This includes chemical additives, preservatives, dyes, artificial
sweeteners, or other junk ingredients. GMO foods are all right, though as
much as possible, natural foods are better. However, as GMO foods are
meant to make production more efficient, with more food produced relative
to land use, they also improve sustainability. However, GMO foods also tend
to go through a lot of processing, so they should still be consumed in limited
Choose Sustainably Produced Foods
As much as possible, food that is consumed should be food grown
sustainably. However, this is more for the health of the planet and the
environment than personal health. As much as possible, organic, grass-fed,
and pasture-raised meats should be used. When it comes to fish, wild fish is
always preferable due to the less dangerous chemicals, such as mercury.