The Pegan Diet vs. The Mediterranean Diet: Which is better for you?
If you're looking to change up your diet and improve your health, you may be wondering which is the best option. The Pegan diet and the Mediterranean diet are two of the most popular modern diets and have been shown to be beneficial for your health, but they differ in some key ways. In this blog post, we'll take a closer look at each diet and compare them head-to-head!
What is the Pegan Diet?
The Pegan diet is a diet that focuses on eating whole, unprocessed foods. The diet was created by Dr. Mark Hyman and is based on the principles of the Paleo diet and the vegan diet. The Pegan diet allows you to eat meat, fish, eggs, vegetables, fruit, nuts, and seeds. The diet also recommends avoiding processed foods, sugar, and dairy products.
According to Dr. Hyman, The Pegan Diet promotes outstanding health by reducing inflammation and balancing out blood sugars. The diet consists of 75% fruits and vegetables and 25% protein, nuts, legumes, seeds, and healthy fats.
What is the Mediterranean Diet?
The Mediterranean diet is a diet that has been shown to be beneficial for your overall health and wellness as well as life longevity. The diet focuses on eating whole, unprocessed foods like vegetables, fresh fruit, legumes, whole grains, fish, eggs, seeds, and healthy fats. The diet also recommends avoiding processed foods, sugar, and only eating red meat in small quantities.
The Mediterranean Diet has been voted the best overall diet by US News and Report for 5 years in a row and has shown results in scientific studies to combat chronic health conditions such as type II diabetes, heart disease, and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
Origin of the Pegan Diet
The Pegan diet was created by Dr. Mark Hyman in 2014. The diet is based on the Paleo and vegan diets. The Paleo diet focuses on eating as our ancestors did before the Agricultural Revolution and the Vegan diet focuses on avoiding all animal by-products and eating only plant-based foods.
Dr. Hyman realized that both of these diets have major benefits, but also major cons, so he laid the foundation of the Pegan diet to bring the two major diets together in unison.
Origin of the Mediterranean Diet
The Mediterranean diet was first developed in the 1960s by Dr. Ancel Keys. The diet is based on the traditional dietary pattern of people living in the Mediterranean region who have been shown to have lower rates of chronic diseases such as heart disease and type II diabetes.
The diet is based on the way people have eaten for thousands of years within the Mediterranean Sea region. People in this region tend to live longer as well due to their lifestyle, which many people who follow the diet try to emulate as well.
Benefits of the Pegan Diet
The Pegan diet has been shown to have a variety of health benefits. Some of these benefits include:
- Reduced inflammation
- Better blood sugar control
- Improved heart health
- Reduced risk for chronic diseases such as type II diabetes, heart disease, and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease
Cons of the Pegan Diet
The Pegan diet is not without its downfalls. Some of these cons include:
- Can be expensive if you're not careful with your food choices
- Requires a lot of planning and preparation
- Requires knowledge about proper food combining
- Can be very restrictive
Benefits of the Mediterranean Diet
The Mediterranean diet has been shown to have many health benefits, including:
- Reduced risk for chronic diseases such as heart disease, type II diabetes, and cancer
- Reduced risk of cancer
- Reduce risk of dementia and Alzheimer's
- Life Longevity
- Better brain health
- Healthy weight loss
- Improved mental well-being
Cons of the Mediterranean Diet
The Mediterranean diet also has a few downsides such as:
- Can be expensive if you're not careful with your food choices
- May require more cooking than some people are used to
- Requires planning and preparation
Foods You Can Eat on the Pegan Diet
Here are the main foods that you are supposed to eat when following the Pegan diet:
- Bamboo shoots, greens, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, broccoli, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, leeks, and mushrooms
- Apples, cherries, dark berries, citrus fruits, pears, mangoes, and pineapple
- Beef, turkey, chicken, salmon, shrimp, and eggs
- Nuts, avocados, avocado oil, olives, and olive oil
- All types of beans
- Maple syrup, coconut sugar, honey, dates, and vanilla
Foods You Cannot Eat on the Pegan Diet
Here are the main foods that you cannot eat when following the Pegan diet:
- Milk, yogurt, cheese, or anything else containing dairy
- Sweet potatoes and pumpkin
- All grains and alternatives (Including whole grains)
- Anything containing soy
- Canola oil, grapeseed oil, sunflower oil, corn oil, soybean oil, or any other vegetable oils
Anything with added sugar:
- Candy, ice cream, and all other junk foods
Highly Processed foods:
- Fast food and other highly processed junk foods
Foods You Can Eat on the Mediterranean Diet
Here are the main foods that you are supposed to eat when following the Mediterranean diet:
- Tomatoes, broccoli, kale, spinach, onions, cauliflower, carrots, Brussels sprouts, cucumbers, potatoes, sweet potatoes, turnips
- Apples, bananas, oranges, pears, strawberries, grapes, dates, figs, melons, peaches
Nuts, seeds, and nut butters:
- Almonds, walnuts, macadamia nuts, hazelnuts, cashews, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, almond butter, peanut butter
- Beans, peas, lentils, pulses, peanuts, chickpeas
- Oats, brown rice, rye, barley, corn, buckwheat, whole wheat bread and pasta
Fish and seafood:
- Salmon, sardines, trout, tuna, mackerel, shrimp, oysters, clams, crab, and mussels
- Chicken, duck, and turkey
- Chicken, quail, and duck eggs
- Cheese, yogurt, milk
Herbs and spices:
- Garlic, basil, mint, rosemary, sage, nutmeg, cinnamon, and pepper
- Extra virgin olive oil, olives, avocados, and avocado oil
Foods You Cannot Eat on the Mediterranean Diet
Here are the main foods that you cannot eat when following the Mediterranean diet:
- Found in soda, candies, ice cream, table sugar, syrup, baked goods, and many other snack foods
- White bread, pasta, tortillas, chips, crackers
- Margarine, fried foods, and other processed foods
- Soybean oil, canola oil, cottonseed oil, grapeseed oil, and other vegetable oils
- Processed sausages, hot dogs, deli meats, beef jerky
Highly processed foods:
- Fast food, convenience meals, and junk food
Which Diet Is Better for You?
This can be a hard question to answer because both diets have a lot of pros and a few cons to consider. Also, both diets have a lot of the same benefits as well, such as improving heart health, being a healthy diet focused on eating whole foods, and a being low-fat diet (low in unhealthy fats).
The best diet for you depends on your overall goals whether it be weight loss, healthy eating, or combating chronic health conditions.
The Mediterranean diet takes the cake in this category, literally and figuratively. The Mediterranean lifestyle encourages small amounts of sweets, such as a cake, on a very limited basis while the Pegan diet doesn't allow any sweets.
Studies have shown that the Mediterranean diet promotes weight loss just as well as other fad diets that focus on losing weight such as the low carb diet or the Keto diet.
Both diets excel in this category due to their focus on an intake of healthy fats. The Mediterranean diet does have a high focus on using olive oil in every single dish and eating fish as the main protein source, which some could argue is the best way to intake omega-3 fatty acids.
The Pegan diet does place high importance on only eating healthy fats that come from olives, nuts, and avocados as well.
Overall Health and Wellness
Both the Mediterranean diet and Pegan diet focuses on promoting overall health and wellness due to the focus on eating only fresh foods and whole foods. Both diets keep you healthy due to the recommended high intake of fruits and vegetables along with lean protein and healthy fat sources.
The main difference between the two diets is that the Mediterranean diet allows whole grain pasta and other whole grain-based foods while the Pegan diet doesn't allow any gluten-containing foods.
Both diets encourage a healthy eating plan and promote weight loss. The focus on fresh produce, whole fruits, and sustainably raised meats promotes a very healthy and sustainable lifestyle.
The main difference is that the Mediterranean diet allows moderate amounts of wine and sweets, unlike the Pegan diet.
Improved Brain Function
Both the Mediterranean diet and Pegan diet have been shown to improve brain function due to their healthy fat sources. The high intake of omega-three fatty acids helps improve cognitive function and memory.
Both diets have been shown to prevent Alzheimer's disease, dementia and help prevent chronic health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.
The Mediterranean diet is known to be a diet that promotes life longevity due to its focus on healthy eating coupled with a life full low impact exercise. The diet was founded by Ancel Keyes due to the long healthy lives that many people have in the Mediterranean region. The Pegan diet is a newer diet so it's not proven to promote life longevity, but its focus on healthy eating with a focus on high amounts of fruits and vegetables leads experts to believe that it could promote life longevity as well.
Both diets have amazing benefits such as improving brain function, preventing disease, combatting chronic conditions, and improving overall health and wellness.
If your goal is to follow a diet that does all of the things mentioned above and is proven to help you lose weight, promote life longevity, and isn't super restrictive, then the Mediterranean diet would be the best option for you.
How Do I Get Started?
It's not easy to change the way you shop for groceries and cook your food. Making major changes like this can take time and patience. We recommend you do the following to get started:
- Do your research on which diet is best for you
- Write down your goals
- Plan out your grocery trip and food list
- Download a helpful app to help make the transition easier
- Supplement your cooking with a meal service so you don't burn out too quickly
The Mediterranean Diet Made Easy
Luckily, your Mediterranean diet can be put on autopilot while you work to make the changes we mentioned above.
ModifyHealth delivers fully Mediterranean diet meals right to your front door with free shipping. There are over 30 meals to choose from and they come fully prepared so all you have to do is heat and eat. If you are interested in making the Mediterranean diet easy, then click the link to explore ModifyHealth's Mediterranean diet options: Mediterranean Diet Plans