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Should You Try a Paleo Vegan Diet?

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paleo

The paleo vs. vegan debate is still going strong. For every green smoothie-chugging, yogi vegan, there’s a protein-pounding, Crossfitting carnivore. You can probably guess which side we’re biased towards here at PD!

But, despite paleo’s meat-centric ideology, there are actually some redeeming virtues to the diet. For one, it advocates unprocessed whole foods. It can also be a very healing diet for those with special nutritional needs. These two aspects can be incorporated into a fully plant-based diet, resulting in a paleo-vegan diet.

A paleo-vegan diet eliminates potatoes, grains and beans: the idea is that these foods are not ideal for human consumption as they need to be cooked for a long period of time, and often create fermentation in the gut.

Instead, a paleo-vegan diet would rely heavily on nuts/seeds, healthy oils, loads of veggies/greens, plus some low-sugar fruit.

Who, you may ask, is paleo-vegan good for? Here’s just a few examples of those who may benefit from the fusion:

-The person with candida overgrowth

Paleo eaters usually stick to low-sugar fruits as their only source of the sweet stuff. This means less sugar available for candida bacteria to feed on, which may slow or eliminate growth.

With no starchy foods in the diet, blood sugar remains balanced and the gut bacteria functions at its prime.

-The person struggling to maintain their weight

Proteins and fats tend to create greater satiety than carbs, so eat up. Paleo desserts like this one may be highly caloric, but they will curb your hunger longer than other treats.

Paleo-vegan-Sex-in-a-Pan

No grains, beans or sugary fruits means less overall carbohydrate intake. When carbs are reduced, the body begins to burn fat stores for energy. This may also contribute to easy weight management.

-The person with hormonal imbalance

Healthy fats are necessary to produce hormones (especially estrogen) and keep them stable. They also facilitate nutrient absorption from the other foods that we eat.

Leptin, a hormone that controls hunger, can be disrupted by grain and sugar consumption, but can easily be reversed by avoiding these foods.

-The person with a sensitive digestive system

Grains, beans and potatoes are notoriously hard to digest. They contain phytates and lectin which can be toxic to some people’s bodies.

“Grain brain fog” is a common symptom for those with grain issues. The gut and brain are strongly linked, so when one is out of whack, the other follows.

In addition to what’s mentioned above, paleo-vegan superstars (i.e. veggies and healthy fats) contribute to a healthy complexion and steady energy.

If you think a paleo-vegan diet is right for you but don’t know where to start, check out the sample menu below for inspiration!

Breakfast: Smoothie with pear, greens, avocado, hemp protein & nut/seed milk

Snack: Berries and coconut yogurt, topped with flaxseed meal

Lunch: Vegan summer slaw and roasted asparagus soup

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Snack: Veggies or paleo-vegan crackers and raw zucchini pesto hummus

Dinner: Spaghetti squash with marinara and steamed veggies

Dessert: Piece of sexy superfood chocolate bark or a date stuffed with coconut butter

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*Since a vegan diet is already “restrictive,” adding paleo to the mix may not be best for everyone. Some may consider sticking to sprouted, gluten-free grains and legumes rather than eliminating them completely.

Would you try a paleo-vegan diet? 

Related: 7 Delicious Nut-free Spreads You Should Try

What a Fruitarian Diet Looks Like (Food Journal)

Why I Went Gluten-Free Vegan–Benefits and Results

Photo: Matthew Hoelescher via Flickr; Samantha Matcovsky; Mary Hood

Quincy Malesovas

Quincy Malesovas

Quincy is an NC-based college student who is passionate about leading a healthy and compassionate life. Aside from classes, she fills her time with cooking, writing, travel, and yoga. You can find more from her on her blog Shugurcän and on Instagram.
  • Not for me, but I do know someone who has tried it. She found the first couple of days rough, but she says it was totally worth it. I think she just did a couple of weeks though.

  • hap_gal

    eat 3 times a day and keep body in fat burning mode. grains and beans when prepared correctly are not hard to digest. Just consume them in small quantities. They are good source of plant protein, free of saturated fat, full of vitamins, minerals and have some fibre too!

  • RachelInCalifornia

    I wonder if cutting out legumes while staying vegan would lower protein input too much.
    I’ve been counting proteins, and I haven’t found it very easy to get my 50 g per day without legumes (including soy) and seitan.

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