While the USDA Food Guide Pyramid offers good advice, it’s less helpful for the millions of Americans who don’t eat meat. But thanks to the Healthy Traditional Vegetarian Diet Pyramid, they can now look to a similar shape to balance their diets.
“The vegetarian diet pyramid is based on numerous studies showing that the closer you get to a plant-based diet, the healthier you’ll be,” says T. Colin Campbell, MD, professor of nutritional biochemistry at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY, and one of the researchers who created the new model. This pyramid offers the following advice:
Eating Plan for Vegetarians
- Eat whole fruits and vegetables, grains, and legumes (soy products, beans, peanuts, peas) at each meal.
- Eat nuts, seeds, egg whites, soy milk, dairy products, and plant oils daily.
- Eat egg yolks and sweets sparingly (occasionally or in small quantities).
Not a vegetarian? Consider using this model as a guide to bring more plant foods into your diet.