You will have heard of a Vegan diet, but have you heard about pegans or seagans? Both are a plant-based diet with adjustments. Seagans incorporate seafood into their diet, while a pegan diet is a cross between paleo and plant-based diets. In this blog post, we'll look into the Seagan diet and why you should consider it.
What is a Seagan diet?
As we mentioned in the intro, a Seagan diet is primarily vegan with the addition of seafood. Many seagans will opt to have seafood 2-3 times per week to accompany their plant-based diet. Some, if not most, people who have a seagan diet will choose seafood that is sustainably caught, but we'll go into more detail about that later on.
The health benefits of a seagan diet
With a seagan diet, you tend to get all the health benefits of a vegan diet, plus more. Healthy vegan diets incorporate vitamins B1, C and E, folic acids, magnesium and iron, but are also low in cholesterol and saturated fats. With the addition of fish, your diet can also be abundant in omega-3s. While these can be found in plants (flaxseeds!), the vegan form is called ALA omega-3, which is less efficient and harder to absorb than EPA and DHA omega-3s in fish.
It also takes a lot of thought to ensure you consume all the essential acids on a vegan diet. Fish, on the other hand, contains all of them (like meat!), which can be a real benefit if you struggle to put together the right combinations of food for plant-based amino acids.
How to introduce a seagan diet into your lifestyle
- Fill up on plant-based foods. A seagan diet is primarily vegan, with a small addition of fish 2-3 times per week. This means that for most of the week meals will be fully plant-based. By buying lots of vegan ingredients, you'll have a wide range of choice for your vegan meals and no excuse to call seganism boring!
- Introduce seafood properly. It's important to introduce the right kind of seafood. Sustainable and only 2-3 times per week. This way, you'll receive the health benefits and harm the environment as little as possible.
- Snack on nuts and seeds. These are a great snack because they contain lots of protein to keep you fuller for longer, but are also vegan to ensure you're doing your bit for the planet and the animals! Some of our favourites are almonds, walnuts, peanuts and sunflower seeds.
- Make sure you cook with lots of veg. This is for health reasons mainly, but the less processed food you can eat, the better for the environment due to less chemicals and production emissions. Adding lots of veg to your meals, whether fully vegan or with seafood, will help ensure you get all the nutrients and vitamins you need.
- Steer clear from sugar. Of course, a sugary treat every now and then isn't going to cause any problems, but processed sugar is not only damaging to the environment, but increase and decrease blood sugars quickly, making it harder to resist meat or non-vegan foods. This point is useful for any dietary change, not just for going seagan.
What is the best seafood to eat?
From a sustainable point of view, farmed fish has the least negative impacts on the planet. According to the WWF, sourcing wild fish is a lot more harmful to the oceans than farmed fish. On packets of fish, it will usually tell you whether it was sourced from the wild or farmed. If buying fresh fish, ask the fishmonger!
From a health perspective, oily fish is the perfect addition to a seagan diet. This could be salmon, tuna (not tinned which often has most of its oils stripped), mackerel and sardines. The oil contains a high level of Omega-3s which are harder to seek naturally in a vegan diet. There are lots of health benefits to Omega-3s, which is one of the reasons we love the seagan diet. It can lower cholesterol, promotes healthy brain and pregnancies, fight inflammation and much more.