Scrolling through her Pinterest boards sometime last summer, Himani Singh, a 27-year-old content writer in New Delhi, came across some pins about something she hadn’t heard of before: pegan recipes. Intrigued, she clicked on one … and was soon clicking on others: posts about the benefits of a pegan diet, pegan diet plans and pegan blender brownies.
She realized she had stumbled upon a trend that combines elements of a paleo diet — which includes foods once consumed in the Paleolithic era, such as lean meats, fish, nuts and seeds — and a vegan diet, which focuses only on plant-based foods (and nothing animal-based).
Singh had already been through a ketogenic, or keto diet, characterized by low-carbohydrate, high-fat food. She decided she was ready for her next diet.
Singh, who self-identifies as a fitness fanatic, was soon boasting to her friends on WhatsApp about her new diet. She’s far from a lonely convert. When Dr. Mark Hyman, director of the Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Functional Medicine, coined the term first in 2014 and in 2017 came out with a book titled Food: What the Heck Should I Eat? that proposed this diet to millions of his followers, some experts questioned his suggestions. But followers don’t listen to skeptics.
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