The vegan food pyramid is designed to help those who don’t eat animal products plan a nutritious, balanced diet. Like the standard food pyramid developed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the vegan food pyramid was developed by the Vegetarian Resource Group to outline how many servings you should strive to eat in specific categories each day. Following this pyramid can ensure that your vegan diet helps you achieve optimal health.
What Categories Are Included in the Vegan Food Pyramid?
According to this food plan, individuals who do not eat animal products should strive to eat the following each day:
-6 to 11 servings of whole grains
-2 to 4 servings of fruit
-3 to 5 servings of vegetables
-2 to 3 servings of protein, including nuts, seeds, legumes, and/or meat alternatives such as tofu
-2 to 3 servings of fortified dairy substitutes, such as soy or rice milk
In addition, those who follow this diet plan should strive to drink 2 to 3 liters of water each day and eat limited fats and sweets.
Learn More: Simple vs Complex Carbohydrates for Weight Loss
What Is Considered a Serving Size?
When first transitioning to a vegan diet, it can be challenging to determine the correct serving size, especially when you’re trying new foods. Keep the following guidelines in mind to help you estimate what constitutes a serving based on the vegan food pyramid.
Pescatarian food pyramidVegan weight loss
-Cooked veggies: 1/2 cup (about the size of a rounded handful)
-Raw leafy greens like kale: 2 cups (2 baseballs)
-Pasta: 1/2 cup
-Fresh fruit: 1/2 cup
-Seeds: 2 tablespoons
-Vegetable and seed oils: 1 tablespoon
-Fortified dairy: 1 cup
What Types of Foods Should I Choose in Each Category?
For a well-balanced diet, it’s important to eat a variety of foods within each category of the vegan food pyramid. For example, choose healthy fats like avocado, nuts, and extra virgin olive oil. Strive to eat whole foods whenever possible and avoid processed foods, which add undesirable elements like sodium. Incorporate calcium to keep your bones healthy by eating plenty of dark leafy greens like kale and collard. Many nutritionists recommend to “eat the rainbow” by choosing fruits and vegetables in lots of different colors to incorporate various vitamins and nutrients.
Vegan food listVegan weight loss
Overall, as you adapt a vegan diet remember that this way of eating isn’t automatically nutritious. Following the vegan food pyramid will put you on the path to wellness. Even if you’re not ready to completely cut out animal products, try for small, manageable changes like incorporating veggies in every meal.