Paleo or Pegan? Which Diet is for You?

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May 29, 2015

I’ve been following the Paleo diet for about a year and a half now. It’s helped me lose weight, gain energy and just all around feel better. You may know the Paleo diet by its other name – the Caveman Diet. It’s actually been around for years but recently saw a huge spike in interest in the past few years or so.

Paleo or Pegan? Which Diet is for You?

There’s a new diet that’s all the rage lately called the Pegan diet. It has some people asking whether Paleo or Pegan is better. If neither of these diets are familiar to you, I’ll explain.

  • Paleo – Based on the concept that our bodies work best when we eat the way our caveman ancestors did, the Paleo diet focuses on meat, vegetables, fruits, healthy oils and limited amounts of seeds and nuts. It does not allow processed foods, grains (including corn), potatoes, beans, dairy, or artificial anything. It focuses on eating things that cavemen would have had available. Meats would be lean and there would be no agricultural growing of grains or other crops. Ideally, organic and grass fed foods would play a big part in your diet.
  • Pegan – The Pegan diet takes the best of the vegan diet and the Paleo diet and combines them. It focuses on vegetables, fruits, healthy oils, meat in tiny portions and small amounts of beans and gluten free grains. No dairy, gluten or added sugars.

One of the big negatives that I hear about the Paleo diet is that people assume it has a large focus on meat. While some people may interpret it that way, when you think about it, it really shouldn’t. Cavemen did not hunt and take down large animals every single day. It wasn’t that easy. They spent vast amounts of time tracking and hunting these animals before killing them. They weren’t sitting down to a huge platter of bacon, eggs and ham for every single meal.

Another negative that I hear about the Paleo diet is that it’s hard to stick to. Yes, it is but it’s worth it. Changing your diet is not easy otherwise our country would be made up of people who were in shape instead of having one of the highest rates of obesity around. If you want to change your diet and have tried Paleo and are just not able to totally give up grains, Pegan may be for you.

However, be aware that you probably will not have the weight loss success that those on the Paleo diet have experienced. Gluten free grains like oats, corn and rice can still add a lot of extra calories to your diet. The Pegan diet recommends no more than one small serving of gluten free grains per day. If your final goal is Paleo, you may want to begin with Pegan and then transition more slowly. Going from the standard American diet (SAD) to the Paleo diet all at once can be a huge shock.

No matter which of these diets you choose, making any small, healthy changes to your diet is a good thing. Which diet is for you?

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