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NUTRITION QUICK TIP: GO PEGAN

One of my favorite people to listen to on the topic of nutrition is Dr. Mark Hyman.

Ever since I heard him speak at a Metagenics conference a few years back I have used him as a great resource for realistic, balanced, and well-researched nutritional advice.

One of his latest concepts is called being Pegan, which he talks about in thisshort blog.

Some of the main concepts are:

— Food is medicine, perhaps the most powerful drug on the planet with the power to cause or cure most disease.

— The cost of chronic disease caused mostly by what we eat will cost our global economy $47 trillion over the next 20 years and cause over 50 million preventable deaths a year.

— Vegan diet studies show they help with weight loss, reverse diabetes and lower cholesterol.  Paleo diets seem to do the same thing.

— Most of the “evidence” that fat in general and saturated fat in particular is bad for us is being rigorously challenged by better and more specific research.

— We thought dietary cholesterol was bad and were told to avoid egg yolks at all costs. Turns out they are good for you and have no impact on cholesterol.

— Comparing a vegan diet of chips and Coke, bagels and pasta to a paleo diet of healthy veggies and grass fed meat won’t be very helpful, nor would comparing a paleo diet of feedlot meat, bologna and no fresh veggies to a whole foods, low glycemic vegan diet.

Here’s what the Pegan approach looks like:

Focus on the glycemic load of your diet. This can be done on a vegetarian or paleo diet, but harder on a vegan diet.  Focus on more protein and fats.  Nuts (not peanuts), seeds (flax, chia, hemp, sesame, pumpkin), coconut, avocados, sardines, olive oil.

Eat the right fats. Stay away from most vegetable oils such as canola, sunflower, corn, and especially soybean oil which now comprises about 10 percent of our calories. Focus instead on omega 3 fats, nuts, coconut, avocados and yes, even saturated fat from grass fed or sustainably raised animals.

Eat mostly plants. Lots of low glycemic vegetables and fruits. This should be 75 percent of your diet and your plate. I usually make 2 to 3 vegetable dishes per meal.

Focus on nuts and seeds. They are full of protein, minerals, and good fats and they lower the risk of heart disease and diabetes.

Avoid dairy. It is for growing calves into cows, not for humans. Try goat or sheep products and only as a treat. And always organic.

Avoid gluten. Most is from Franken Wheat — so look for heirloom wheat (Einkorn); if you are not gluten sensitive, then consider it an occasional treat.

Eat gluten-free whole grains sparingly. They still raise blood sugar and can trigger autoimmunity.

Eat beans sparingly. Lentils are best. Stay away from big starchy beans.

Eat meat or animal products as a condiment, not a main course. Read The Third Plate by Dan Barber to understand how shifts in our eating habits could save the environment and ourselves. Vegetables should take center stage and meat should be a side dish.

Think of sugar as an occasional treat. In all its various forms (i.e., use occasionally and sparingly).

At Jackson Strength, we have absolutely fell in love with this concept. Personally, I feel the biggest difference in my ability to keep body fat levels low and energy high.

The best part about it is that it is perfect for athletic performance, fat loss, reducing inflammation, slowing the aging process and feeling more vital.

Give it a shot and let us know what you think!!

CJ