Diet Wars: Paleo, Vegan & Everything In Between

by JJ Virgin on February 5, 2018

If there’s one thing people are universally passionate about, it’s their food!

Want some evidence? Just think about what would happen if you told a roomful of vegans that a meat-heavy Paleo diet is the best eating plan!

You and I both know that an all-out food fight would commence. But what if there’s no real winner in that battle?

While both diets offer some amazing advantages, they also have a drawback or two. Read on to find out more about the strengths and weaknesses of each, plus how to experience the best of both the Paleo and vegan worlds!  

Pros of a Paleo Diet

Whole, Unprocessed Foods

The Paleo diet is based on choosing foods that could be hunted or gathered thousands of years ago during Paleolithic times. That means Little Debbie snack cakes are out, and real, unprocessed food is in!

And there’s plenty of science to back up the benefits — studies show that a diet high in processed foods puts you at an increased risk of obesity and all the health issues that go along with it. 1


You won’t find any grains in the Paleo diet! And as it turns out, that can be a big plus: research shows that grains, especially those that contain gluten, can create inflammation and trigger leaky gut.2 (Find out in this blog why that’s bad news for your health…)

Advantages of a Vegan Diet

More fruits and vegetables

A vegan diet also has some incredible benefits! Ideally, it includes a wide variety of non-starchy veggies and low-sugar impact fruits, which are a great addition to any menu.

With plenty of vitamins, minerals, and fiber to boost your health, vegetables and fruits also contain the power of antioxidants to defend against harmful molecules that cause cell damage, aging, and a host of health issues.3-5

No factory-farmed animal products

Avoiding meat, dairy, and eggs from animals kept in unclean factory farm conditions is a huge benefit of a vegan diet.

One reason is that protein from animals exposed to hormones and antibiotics has been shown to be harmful to humans.6 What’s more, feeding animals GMO corn, soy and other grains changes their fatty acid profile, making their meat, milk, and eggs more likely to cause inflammation.7-9

The Cons

As I mentioned earlier, there some pitfalls to Paleo and vegan as well.

One issue with a Paleo diet is that some folks tend to go heavy on meat and miss out on healthy plant-based sources of protein, like lentils and black beans. In addition, Paleo “treats” made with honey, maple syrup, and coconut sugar can deliver just as big a sugar impact as their refined sugar counterparts!

On the other hand, vegans are much more likely to suffer from multiple nutrient deficiencies. That’s why it’s vital that vegans regularly supplement with vitamin B12, zinc, iron, and vitamin D to avoid serious health risks.

And because vegans often rely on the same protein sources, they’re also more prone to food intolerances and the nasty symptoms that come with them. (Find out more about why HERE…)

So what’s the solution?

The Compromise

With arguments for and against both diets, I suggest we meet in the middle!

As with most things, the happy medium tends to be the healthiest and safest. I’ve found that even too much of a good thing can be bad! That’s why I believe in creating your own individualized diet plan.

When you customize your diet, it’s important to take into account:

  • Your age
  • Health conditions
  • Health goals
  • Preferences
  • Lifestyle
  • Genetics
  • Epigenetics
  • Gut microbiome
  • Biochemistry

And keep in mind that what’s right for you now might change over time!

What I Do

I don’t personally have any religious or ethical reasons that keep me from eating meat. Not only do I feel better when eating a variety of clean meat and animal products, I’m also leaner and healthier than when I was a vegetarian for many years.

However, I only choose clean protein that comes from sources I can trust, and I make sure to eat veggies with every single meal. Also, unlike the Paleo diet, I choose to include legumes, wild rice (a grass, not a grain!), and quinoa (actually a seed!), all of which pack a powerful nutritional punch.

How to Create Your Ideal Diet

That’s what works for me, but your needs might be totally different. Everyone’s unique, and there’s no such thing as a successful one-size-fits-all eating plan!

If you’re interested in creating a customized diet for yourself, I suggest starting with The Virgin Diet or Sugar Impact Diet. They’re both designed to help you find exactly the right combination of foods for your unique needs.

If you’re struggling with digestive issues, chronic pain or inflammation, or autoimmune issues, The Virgin Diet can help you uncover your food intolerances and take back your health.

If you suffer from carb cravings, diabetes, or excess belly fat, the Sugar Impact Diet can help you identify sources of sneaky sugar and figure out the right amount and types of carbs for you. Read this blog to get more tips about making the choice.

At the end of the day, it’s not about being right or wrong — it’s about feeling your best and optimizing your diet for the one and only YOU!

Thanks so much for reading this post! If you’re interested in finding out more about how to dial in your diet and health, please check out my online programs. They’re science-based and have already helped thousands of people feel better fast and lose the weight.