Dr. Mark Hyman’s Top Five Tips For Going ‘Pegan’

Dr. Mark Hyman talks to Katie about his new book, The Pegan Diet

Staying healthy during these tough — and often stressful — times is no easy task. But luckily, Dr. Mark Hyman joined KCM to talk about our new “Spring into Health” initiative, which can offer you a much needed reset when it comes to your health. 

Dr. Hyman is not only a practicing family physician —  he’s also a 13-time New York Times best-selling author. His latest book, THE PEGAN DIET: 21 Practical Principles for Reclaiming Your Health in a Nutritionally Confusing World, explains how to take the best aspects of the paleo diet and the vegan diet to create a roadmap that is good for your brain, body and planet. 

“The key principle of the Pegan diet and of functional medicine is that food is medicine,” Hyman said. “It’s not like medicine, it is actually medicine.”

Here are the top takeaways from our chat

1) Invest in quality food and ingredients. 

Dr. Hyman emphasized that quality food is key, saying it plays a huge role in regulating your body, hormones, and immune system. But this doesn’t have to be expensive.

“The principle that’s really important is quality — food is information, it’s medicine,” he said. “So whatever you’re eating, make sure it’s the best quality that you can get.”

2) Rethink your assumptions about a detox.

Dr. Hyman acknowledged that detoxes often have a negative association, but it doesn’t necessarily mean cutting out all foods. He added that what many people don’t realize is how connected food is to your health, saying a poor diet can lead to a range of health issues, including migraines and irritable bowel.

“Detox is essentially just a reset — how do you reset your biology to its original factory settings,” he said.

3) Metabolic health is key, especially during the pandemic.

Dr. Hyman estimates that 88 percent of Americans are in poor metabolic health. “We have this poor metabolic health and it drives our behavior,” he said.

4) Steer clear of sugary foods — and white flour.

The physician warned that many people have lost their “nutritional wisdom” because we have become increasingly addicted to addictive foods with a lot of sugar. This includes flour, which he warned is “worse than sugar.” He instead recommends buckwheat flour as a healthier alternative.

5) Indugle on vegetables.

“You want variety — that’s key,” he said. “Your plate should be 75% non-starchy veggies.”

Stay tuned for my other upcoming interviews with Dr. Hyman.