Saturday, July 18, 2015

Response to Pegan Diet of Dr. Mark Hyman

There is a new diet craze in the United States, and at first I felt insulted that Dr. Mark Hyman had the nerve to combine the words Paleo and Vegan into one word.  The fact that anyone would combine a diet word like “paleo” that is high meat protein and requires killing animals with the word vegan is disgusting enough, but the word “Paleo” to describe a diet from the Paleo era is totally inaccurate and unscientific.  The Paleo diet was voted the worst diet by U.S. News and World Report, so it should not continue being used.

Of course, since Americans love fads, they are ready for the newest diet craze and the Pegan diet is it.  Let us look at the gut of this diet: Dr. Hyman cuts out all fibrous wheat breads and carbohydrates except for gluten free ones, simply because of the extremely small percentage (1%) of people who are actually allergic to gluten or have FODMAP (6%) and gave up only gluten whether they are sensitive to that or not.  Dr. Hyman also does not allow beans because beans give some people gas and can raise glycemic levels.  Guess what - carrots raise glycemic levels too!  Why take away these good, nutritious foods?  We know it is fat that causes diabetes, not beans or carrots! 

The Pegan Diet is just another meat and vegetable diet like the Paleo diet, but it does call for organic foods, and lots of fruits and vegetables, and smaller portions of meat - so that is an improvement.  This diet, however,  is way too high in fat from the meats and fats allowed, and we all know the consequences of meat in a diet!  Any amount over 1 ounce a day of meat for a woman or 1.5 ounces of meat a day for a man is not safe from a cancerous standpoint and a fat standpoint!

Don't forget, we have many x-rays showing total reversal of heart disease from Dr. Esselstyn and other doctors who advocate a low fat vegan diet.  And, yes, when studies involving meat or dairy are done they are put up against a 35% fat vegan diet instead of a 7% to 10% vegan diet, because they know it would be "game over."  I am glad Dr. Hyman points out that a lot of studies are cherry picked and flawed, but we do know what causes heart disease and high cholesterol, because those recent saturated fat studies that claim saturated fat is fine to eat are terribly flawed!  

Many vegans eat pasta, rice and other simple sugars and we do not have diabetes or weight problems, but Dr. Hyman tries to make the vegan diet seem less ideal by mentioning simple sugars. We vegans who keep up with nutrition by reading articles by Dr. John McDougall and Dr. Michael Greger know to keep sugars low, but we also know sugar is not as bad as fat in the diet!  After all, severe diabetes and kidney problems have been cured with the Kempner Diet, a temporary diet of white rice, fruit juice and fruit – all sugars!  

As you can see, I was offended by just about every aspect of this “new” Pegan diet.  But then I took another look.  It’s an improvement over the Standard American (SAD) diet (which shows just how unhealthy most Americans eat)!  It contains no dairy, which is a real point in its favor.  This diet calls for eating only “sustainably raised, grass fed meat,” but we know sustainable is a misused word, and grass fed beef is not sustainable.  However, the fact that he calls for cutting down on meat makes it more sustainable than the SAD diet.

I wonder how many people actually buy grass-fed beef?  Do they buy it at restaurants or seminars or eat it at other people’s houses?  Of course not!  I have caught people who argue for organic beef with “humane” killing (humane?), eating regular beef in photos on their Facebook pages.  The only person I met who did not eat meat if it was not grass-fed thought he was allergic to "regular meat."  Still, I am sure there are some people who think they are being moral or are trying for better health by eating grass-fed beef.  Trust me, cut the beef out all together for better health!

But I have to thank Dr. Hyman, for getting people more familiar with a vegan diet!  Even though I still find the combination of vegan and Paleo offensive, I think he did vegans a favor, by breaking people from the horrid dairy habit, getting them to eat more fruits and veges and uncontaminated food, and making the word, vegan, more acceptable!