While Americans are still in different positions of consciousness about the keto, paleo and Whole 30 diets, there is another new eating regime with the label "pegan".
This hybrid from & # 39; paleo & # 39; and & # 39; vegan & # 39; was introduced in a 2014 blog post by doctor and author Mark Hyman.
After Hyman had included the pegan diet in his diet book of February 2018, Food: What should I eat? in February 2018, searches related to the pegan diet met with a number of trend listings for 2019.
Although the pegan diet is more moderate – and possibly easier to follow – than one of its diet parents, it does limit a lot of nutritious food for reasons that are not really supported by science. These are the advantages and disadvantages.
The plus points: many plants and healthy fats
The pegan diet is essentially a plant-based diet, research shows that it is good for personal and planetary health. If you want to go to Pegan, you are planning to shop for a variety of deep-colored fruits and vegetables – they will account for about 75 percent of your diet.
That is certainly one of the sales points of the diet, says registered dietician Wesley Delbridge, a spokesperson for the Academy for Nutrition and Dietetics.
"Most Americans do not get enough fruit and vegetables," he says, adding that the propagation product also increases fiber intake, so we can get the 25 to 35 grams we need every day.
"That has many health benefits, including heart health and cancer reduction, especially colon cancer."
Chicago-based registered dietitian Christine Fitzgerald loves the vegetable focus of the diet. "I think we do not eat enough plants, fruit and vegetables and get the fibers," she says.
"I think for people who like the vegetable way of eating, but feel overwhelmed and can not fully commit to a plant-based diet, this offers them some options."
She is concerned, however, that the pegan diet restricts fruit to low-glycemic berries because, according to him, other types of fruit are blood sugar levels.
"What if you do not like berries We can do other things to reduce the impact on blood sugar levels, such as linking fruit and protein," she says.
The diet also emphasizes fatty fish and linseed – sources of omega-3, another nutrient that, according to Delbridge, is not enough for Americans, as well as nuts, avocado, olives and associated oils that provide healthy unsaturated fats.
The diet also allows some saturated fat from grass or sustainably grown meat, butter and ghee, along with organic coconut oil and coconut butter.
The mixed bag: protein, processed food and affordability
The pegan diet considers animal proteins as "condiment" and suggests choosing fish and seafood with a lower mercury content; both recommendations are fully in line with a healthy "flexitarian" diet.
But it also warns about beans & # 39; occasionally & # 39; to eat and to limit to ½ cup a day, something that Delbridge has to deal with.
"Beans are the superfood of nature", says Delbridge. "They have proteins, they have fiber, they have starch. Beans have been one of the diets worldwide and beans have yielded so many health benefits, including a reduction in cancer risk."
He also points out that beans are cheap, and that limiting them emphasizes one of the downsides of the pegan diet: "If you have a low income, I'm not sure if you can buy the food that he proposes."
Indeed, the pegan diet prescribes "organic", "sustainably grown", "grassland" and "grass-fed" food. While this may have benefits for the environment and health, and that is still a matter of debate, it can be costly.
The diet restricts food with added sugars to occasional treats and has a long list of "avoids" including pesticides, antibiotics, hormones, genetically modified ingredients, chemicals, additives, preservatives, artificial colors, MSG and artificial sweeteners.
Hyman famously said that the pegan diet can be divided into one simple rule: "If God has made it, eat it, if man has made it, then leave it."
"For me that's very simplistic, with how complicated our bodies are and what they need on a daily basis," says Delbridge.
I agree with that. To begin with, organic agriculture uses approved pesticides.
In addition, an attempt to fully adhere to that & # 39; avoid list could contribute to orthorexia – an unhealthy obsession with healthy eating – by introducing the idea that we can make ourselves disease-resistant if we & # 39; 39; perfect & # 39; eat.
It can also lead to social isolation if a person is afraid of exposure to banned food.
The disadvantages: against the grains and dairy
The diet prohibits wheat and other gluten-containing grains, other than incidental intake of the old wheat unicorn, where it is wrongly claimed that most wheat is genetically modified "Frankenwheat".
Although modern wheat has serious drawbacks, there are, besides the old wheat, one-horned, bucket and spelled different varieties of heirloom wheat.
The pegan diet also limits gluten-free grains such as quinoa, brown rice, oats and amaranth. The claim? They increase blood sugar levels and can cause autoimmunity.
There is no good science to support the autoimmunity claim for the general population, and any carbohydrate-containing food, including vegetables, can increase blood sugar levels.
Hyman seems to have softened his position somewhat since dairy in his blog in 2014, in which he advised to avoid all dairy products because for most people it contributes to a number of chronic diseases, a claim that is not supported by research.
He now gives yogurt, kefir, butter, ghee or cheese, preferably from goat or sheep milk, and always organic and grass-fed.
it comes down to
The pegan diet limits a lot of food rich in nutrients, partly because some people can not tolerate it. While it is true that some people do not tolerate lactose or gluten, or have trouble digesting the fiber in beans, this is not the case for most people.
Fitzgerald says that if someone follows the pegan diet because they are struggling with inflammation or digestion, it provides the opportunity to find the cause of their health problems.
While Delbridge sees that the pegan diet is a fad diet, he says it has one thing – besides the abundant products, omega-3 fatty acids and little sugar.
"The first pro for following a diet is that you are now thinking about your food.You prepare yourself in advance.You control your portion size.You do not just get lost and grab fast food or just everything in your mouth because you are hungry, "he says.
"We always have to do that for me."
Fitzgerald has a slightly different view. "I prefer not to let everyone follow a specific diet, because that puts them in a black and white position: they follow the diet or are not," she says.
"Promoting heart-healthy fats and raising plant-based foods are such good pro's, but understand that you can increase those foods without leaving the diet path, so you do not get entangled in the food mindset."
Dennett is a registered dietitian nutritionist and owner of Nutrition by Carrie.
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This article was originally published by The Washington Post.