Pegan Diet: What Is It And How Does It Affect Your Health?

Medically reviewed by G. Liakeas, MD FACT CHECKED

Dieting is a management technique to control food intake. It has been a tool to aid in weight loss. But now, dieting is just more than this limited sphere. Different forms of dieting have different fanbases.

It is a lifestyle that determines largely the food choices, the definition of healthy and even concern for nature. Some focus on cutting short carbs while others encourage plant-based diets.

But amidst all this, a dieting style emerged thinning the line between the two diets. This unique combination of vegan and paleo is known as pegan dieting. Let’s try to find out more about this new buzzword.

all about pegan diet

It is a unique blend of two different dieting styles i.e vegan and paleo. To be precise, it is a mixture of two opposite worlds. The vegan cult believes in the supremacy of a plant-based diet only.

The strong support of plant food sources is backed by both moral and scientific reasons. It is believed that plant sources have long-term health benefits. They keep the heart, brain, and overall body in a better state.

Moreover, they avoid exploitation and killing of animals. Vegan diets are considered very nutritious. One is allowed to eat legumes, nuts, vegetables and fruits on a vegan diet. Meat and animal products are strongly opposed.

The paleo diet is just the opposite of the vegan diet. It is meat-centric in the sense that it allows meat consumption along with veggies and certain legumes.

Pegan dieting sounds nearly impossible but is a more easy dieting style than vegan and paleo diets separately. In pegan dieting, the main focus remains on plant-based sources but meats and animal-based sources are also encouraged.

Grains, legumes, and dairy are however hard to find in pegan dieting. Although, there are some exceptions as well.

How Is Pegan Dieting Supposed To Be Followed?

Since both animal and plant-based sources are encouraged, there should be a balance between the two. Roughly, plant-based foods like vegetables, fruits, or legumes make up 75% of your meal.

The remaining 25% is left for animal-based foods. This dieting pattern is easy to follow since it is more flexible.

The rules of pegan dieting are not as harsh as vegan or paleo dieting. You could sustain a balance between the two which reduces the risk of deficiencies caused by strict prohibition.

Foods To Eat On A Pegan Diet

Pegan dieting focuses on whole foods. Food with no processing or minimally processed is the primary choice in pegan dieting.

  1. Enrich Your Diet With Plant Sources

    A pegan diet is also inclined toward plant sources. Since 75% of what you eat comes from plants, choose fresh fruits and vegetables. Both should have a glycemic value.

    Some fruits suitable for pegan dieting are:

    • Apples
    • Kiwi
    • Grapefruit
    • Blueberries
    • Cherries
    • Apricots
    • Grapes
    • Lemon
    • BlackBerry
    • Strawberry
    • Pears
    • Oranges

    Some vegetables with low glycemic value are:

    • Carrots
    • Broccoli
    • Tomatoes
    • Cabbage
    • Kale
    • Beet
    • Spinach
    • Onions
    • Green peas
    • Collards
    • Green beans
    • Lettuce

    Along with these, you may try some non-starchy vegetables like:

    • Cucumber
    • Cauliflower
    • Mushrooms
    • Eggplant
    • Turnips
    • Brussel sprouts
    • Asparagus
    • Celery
    • Salad greens

    Prohibition of starchy vegetables, sweet fruits, and veggies with high glycemic value is done to control blood sugar levels.

    People with already controlled blood sugar levels could consume sweet fruits and starchy vegetables in limited quantities.

  2. Look For Healthy Protein Sources

    The pegan diet is not as strict as a vegan diet. So you may choose your protein from animal sources like beef, pork, and eggs. While doing so, keep two things in mind.

    Tag these foods along with plant-based protein sources to avoid deficiency. Do not cross the bar of 25% animal food products. Secondly, avoid farmed, cultured, or processed meats.

    Rely on natural health alternatives. Grass-fed and organically raised poultry and eggs are the best choices.

    You could also add some fish to the plate like sardines, salmon, tilapia, and catfish.

  3. Include Healthy Fats

    Fats are also crucial for the body just like other macronutrients. Our body requires them for the absorption of vitamins, cell growth, and energy production.

    The image of fats is downtrodden due to new dieting styles. However, if you choose fat sources wisely, you should not fall for unhealthy trans fats.

    Some good sources of fats, Unprocessed or minimally processed, are:

    • Nuts like almonds, cashews, and walnuts. They also provide minerals and antioxidants along with heart-healthy fats.
    • Seeds like hemp, pumpkin, flax, chia seeds and sunflower seeds have many benefits. They also provide fiber and boost satiety. Avoid processed seed oils when following a pegan diet.
    • Avocados are the most valuable fruit for any diet style. They are rich in nutrients and also contribute as a healthy fat source.
    • Olives and olive oil are great fat sources, provided the processing is minimal. They are also a great snack between meals.
    • Omega 3 fatty acids are also healthy fats mainly found in fish. Oily fish like salmon or others with low mercury content will do the job.
    • Coconut has a creamy flavor and provides fats. Even coconut oil in an unrefined state is permitted.
    • Animal sources of fats are eggs, pork, and beef.
  4. Add some grains occasionally

    Grains could be split into two broad categories i.e gluten rich and gluten-free. Grains with gluten are prohibited in pegan diets. Whole grains with no gluten are occasionally permitted.

    Such grains are brown rice, amaranth, quinoa, and oats. Legumes like lentils, chickpeas, and black beans are allowed in limited quantities.

    Generally, legumes account for one cup a day and grains make up half a cup every meal.

Foods To Avoid In A Pegan Diet

Pegan diet is similar to the eating patterns of cavemen. All available hunted and gathered things are usually allowed in pegan diets.

Since cattle rearing and agriculture were not a custom back then, you will hardly find them in pagan diet charts.

The modern reasoning behind the prohibition of these foods is the notion of being “unhealthy”.Here is a list of food items not allowed in a pegan diet

  1. Dairy Products

    Cheese, full-fat milk, and yogurt especially made using cow’s milk are not allowed in the pegan diet.

    Sheep and goat milk and their products are allowed to a certain extent. However, the use is very limited.
  2. Grains

    Grains with gluten like pasta, wheat, barley, and spelt are not allowed in pegan diets.

    Even gluten-free grains are discouraged. Only consumption in little amounts is permitted sometimes.
  3. Legumes

    Most legumes are linked with an increase in blood sugar levels. For the same reason, they are unable to make it to the pegan diet.

    However, lentils, chickpeas, and black beans are an exception.
  4. Sugar

    Pegan diets aim at controlling blood sugar levels. Therefore, additional sugar consumption is cut short in all possible ways.

  5. Food Preservatives

    Food preservatives and even artificial colors and flavors are strongly opposed.

  6. Refined Oils

    Limited oil consumption of unprocessed/unrefined oils is permitted. However, refined coconut oil, sunflower oil, or soybean oil is discouraged.

Sample Meal Plan For A Day

Breakfast- chop some mushrooms, onions, and broccoli. Toss them in unrefined coconut oil and add two eggs. Eat this delicious vegetable omelet.

For lunch, have carrot sticks, Brussel sprouts, and shredded chicken.

For dinner have ground turkey and veggie burgers along with some stir-fried cabbage with mushrooms and bell peppers.

Pegan Diet And Weight Loss

The Pegan diet focuses on fresh vegetables and fruits. So the majority of the meals are rich in fiber but have minimal calories. Limited sugar, maple syrup, and honey also put a restriction on calories.

Therefore, the pegan diet could help you shed some kilos. It also boosts satiety, so your untimely hunger strikes or cravings are also avoided. This puts an end to the chances of overeating.

If you find the perfect balance in your meals, the pegan diet could transform into a healthy lifestyle.

Benefits Of The Pegan Diet

  1. Simple And Sustainable

    Food items allowed in the pegan diet plan are simple. Moreover, this type of diet is more sustainable than vegan or paleo separately.

    You should maintain a balance between veggies and meat in the pegan diet. Therefore, the chances of better nutrition increase.
  2. Lowers Blood Sugar Levels And Reduces Inflammation

    The foods allowed in the pegan diets have low glycemic value. Moreover, sugar intake is limited.

    Therefore, it might help in controlling blood sugar levels. It also reduces inflammation. So, it could be an effective way to prevent heart problems or diabetes.
  3. A Healthy Approach

    The basic idea of paleo is observed to be “ clean eating ”. It focuses on fresh produce and not processed food. Therefore, it is a healthier approach.

    The foods used in the pegan diet are fiber-rich and low in calories. So you don’t have to worry about putting on weight.

  4. Low Chances Of Cravings

    Pegan diet is a fuller diet so you are not likely to feel hungry frequently. Most of the nutritional needs are met without starving. This makes it different from all the other diets.

  5. Better Fat Choice

    The fats encouraged in the pegan diet are healthy ones. Omega-3 fatty acids and other natural and unrefined ones could be usually used in this diet.

The Downside Of The Pegan Diet

In pegan dieting, some important food items are prohibited according to baseless assumptions. Dairy, grains, and legumes hardly find a place in the pegan diet.

In the process, some healthy foods like cheese, yogurt, milk, and starchy vegetables are not included in the diet. This might cause several deficiencies.

Also, the idea of eating clean is flawed. Finding minimally processed foods and grass-fed poultry and pork is difficult.


The pegan diet is an apt combination of vegan and paleo. Both veggies and animal sources combined, make the diet balanced and nutritious. Some low-sugar drinks like dry wine and hard cider are occasionally permitted.

In the long run, it could reduce inflammation and lower blood sugar levels. Therefore, it is considered heart-healthy. But like all other things, it has certain shortcomings.

It limits dairy products and legumes without logical reasoning. Getting unprocessed foods is also equally tough. Altogether, it is a good diet to follow, provided you maintain a balance between the meals.