Have you heard of Pegan? It’s what you get when you combine Paleo, with Vegan. So…. How does that work?
Well, as we know, Paleo is eating natural, whole, unprocessed foods: meat, fish, eggs, vegetables, nuts, seeds and fruit. Vegan is a whole step further than vegetarian and doesn’t involve any food that comes from an animal. So no meat (obviously), but also no eggs and no dairy. Vegans would typically turn to grains for energy and legumes (like soy) for protein.
When Paleo + Vegan = Pegan, we’re left with just vegetables, nuts, seeds and fruit. There’s no grains, no legumes, no meat, no fish, no eggs and no dairy. The food would be GMO-free, ideally organic and free of chemicals and preservatives.
On a Pegan approach cooking is harder, as vegan friendly oils like vegetable, soybean, canolia, sunflower oil or margarine aren’t allowed as they aren’t paleo. Paleo friendly oils like animal fats (tallow, lard, bacon grease etc) butter and ghee aren’t allowed because they’re not vegan. This leave good old coconut oil, olive oil, and perhaps other nut oils like macadamia and avocado oil to cook with.
To make a Pegan diet work, you’d need to really focus on fats and proteins and would need to rely on foods like avocado, coconut and nuts for fat consumption – whilst at the same time making sure not to over eat nuts, and upset your omega 3/ 6 ratio. Protein would have to be sought from seeds, vegetables and nuts. The bulk of your diet would need to be plant food, with lots of leafy green vegetables.
My verdict on the Pegan Diet
I can’t help but see the Pegan diet as just too restrictive. I think it would be almost impossible to obtain sufficient B-vitamins from this diet alone, without supplementing. But I do think we can take a few things from this Paleo-Vegan approach.
Instead of focusing on having meat & fish in our diet, I think we should focus on the quality of that meat and fish. Where we can, we should be eating organic, ethical meat. Fish should be wild, line caught and we should consider mercury content. I think eggs are a great food to eat – but again, quality is everything. And where eggs aren’t stamped, we need to be even more careful to make sure we know where our eggs are from. I think a vegan diet places more emphasis on vegetables than paleo sometimes does – and it’s a good reminder that we should make sure we’re eating a wide variety of differently coloured veggies.
Would you go Pegan? Or is It a step too far?