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Vegetarian Food Pyramid
Main Food Groups of a Healthy Balanced Diet for Vegetarians & Vegans
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Vegetarian Food Pyramid Dietary Guidelines for Healthy Living

The vegetarian food pyramid illustrates the main food groups of a healthy balanced vegetarian diet. According to official US dietary guidelines, the basis of a healthy balanced diet means eating foods from each of the main food groups, each day - except fats, oils & sweets, which should always be eaten sparingly. See also Vegetarian Dietary Guidelines

TABLE 1. Vegetarian Food Pyramid

Vegetarian food pyramid

Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Vegetarian Pyramid Guidelines

Fats, Oils, Sweets
Use sparingly

Milk, Yogurt, Cheese
2-3 servings daily
Note: Vegetarians who choose not to use milk, yogurt, or cheese need to select other food sources rich in calcium. These include: poppy seeds, sesame seeds, tofu, fortified soy milk, almonds, soy beans, figs, haricot beans, spinach, brazil nuts, chickpeas, kale, broccoli, spring greens, white cabbage, plus rice or oat drinks fortified with calcium.

Dry Beans, Nuts, Seeds, Eggs and Meat Substitutes
2-3 servings daily

3-5 servings daily

2-4 servings daily

Bread, Rice, Cereal, Pasta
6-11 servings daily

See also:
Vegetarian Dietary Guidelines

 TABLE 2. Vegetarian Food Pyramid Serving Sizes

Food Group What Counts as a Serving
Fats, oils, sweets Use sparingly. Use fats or oils low in saturated, or hydrogenated fat.
Dairy 1 cup milk; 1 cup/8 ounces yogurt; 1.5 ounces natural cheese; 2 ounces processed cheese.
Dry Beans, Nuts, Seeds, Eggs and Meat Substitutes soy milk 1 cup, cooked dry beans or peas - 1/2 cup; 1 egg or 2 egg whites; nuts/seeds 2 Tbsp; tofu or tempeh - 1/4 cup; peanut butter - 2 Tbsp.
Vegetables 1/2 cup cooked/raw vegetables; 1 cup leafy raw vegetables; 1/2 cup cooked peas, beans, other legumes; 3/4 cup vegetable juice.
Fruits 1 medium apple, banana, orange; 1/2 grapefruit; melon wedge; 3/4 cup fruit juice; 1/2 cup chopped fresh, cooked, canned fruit (in juice); 1/4 cup dried fruit;
Breads, grains 1 slice bread; 1/2 hamburger bun or English muffin; 1 small roll, muffin, or biscuit; 5-6 small crackers; 1/2 cup cooked cereal, rice, pasta, noodles; 1 ounce ready-to-eat cereal.

TABLE 3. Vegetarian Food Pyramid Sample Diets at Three Different Calorie Levels

Food Group 1600
Calorie Diet
Calorie Diet
Calorie Diet
Grains 6 servings 9 servings 11 servings
Vegetables 3 servings 4 servings 5 servings
Fruits 2 servings 3 servings 4 servings
Dairy/Milk 2-3 servings 2-3 servings 2-3 servings
Dry Beans, Nuts, Seeds, Eggs and Meat Substitutes 5oz 6oz 7oz
Total Fat (30%) 53g 73g 93g
Total Added Sugars 6 tsp 12 tsp 18 tsp

Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Vegetarian Dietary Guidelines - Further Information

You might be interested in these websites:

Vegetarian Society
Vegan Society
Information About Vegetarian Diet

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