2018 was the year of veganism.
Whether you wanted to eat more healthily, or live more sustainably, more people than ever were shunning animal products for a plant-based diet.
But that was 2018. Experts predict that 2019 will be the year of the pegan diet. But what exactly is it? And what can you eat when youre on it?
The word pegan is a mash-up of vegan and paleo – but practically, how does that work? And how hard is it to follow as a diet?
Our first thoughts are that paleo and vegan are opposing schools of thought – so bringing them together cohesively might be tough.
Paleo is basically about eating like a caveman, unprocessed foods and lots of meat and protein – whereas veganism means completely cutting out all animal products. So how can you do both?
The pegan diet, created by Dr. Mark Hyman, advises that you avoid dairy, grains and legumes, have plenty of fruit and vegetables and get the majority of your fat from nuts and seeds.
Meat-eaters will be pleased to know that, unlike veganism, eggs, oily fish and meat are allowed – but only if they are sustainably sourced. All meat should be grass-fed.
What can you eat on the pegan diet?
Vegetables; its recommended that 75% of your diet should be vegetables.
Beans, but they should be limited.
Creator Hyman, told Redbook that designed correctly, both a paleo and vegan diet can provide health benefits like weight loss, lowered cholesterol, and reverse diabetes.
These are certainly attractive claims. Its no wonder there has been a huge spike in interested in the new diet trend. Pinterest have reported a 337% increase in searches for pegan eating.
But it is legit? Or is it nothing more than another fad diet?
Dietician Chloe Hall, told the Huffing Post that there are certainly benefits to eating in this way. Encouraging plenty of fruit and vegetables is not a bad thing as they can help to prevent certain cancers, are rich in fibre for a healthy gut and are low in calories which can help with maintaining a healthy weight, she explains.
But Hall is wary of any diet that cuts out food groups in their entirety.
Dairy is a great source of calcium for healthy bones, whole grains can help reduce the risk of heart disease and legumes are a good source of fibre.
Cutting out any food groups can lead to deficiencies in nutrients if not well-planned.
Things you can't eat on the pegan diet
Gluten; including whole grains and alternatives
Most vegetable oils
Glycemic index is also a big thing in the pegan diet. Hyman recommends that the vegetables you eat should have a low GI of between 55 and 69.
This is because foods lower on the glycemic index scale tend to release glucose slowly and more steadily – this helps maintain good blood sugar levels and overall health.
On his website, Dr. Hyman says that this way of eating makes the most sense for our health and the health of our planet. It is sustainable and kinder to animals.
But he does stress that everyone is different and that people need to consider their individual health and needs before subscribing to a wholesale change of diet.