We are all familiar with the food pyramid.
We all know that at the basis of the pyramid there are the most important aliments that should be included in most of our meals, while those at the top should be consumed only from time to time.
But what about the vegetarians?
How does the vegetarian diet pyramid look like?
Since more people are turning towards a vegetarian diet each day, the Harvard School of Public Health and the Oldways organization decided in 1997 that it was time to come up with a healthy Vegetarian Diet Pyramid.
This pyramid is organized on four layers and comes with extremely useful information for those who decided to exclude meat from their diet:
1. The basis of this pyramid consists of daily physical activity. This is the most important element, decisive for a healthy way of living. Without working out, eating right cannot be effective enough.
2. The first layer can be divided into three subcategories:
- Vegetables and fruits (it includes all types of vegetables and fruits)
- Whole Grains (it includes breads, maize, couscous, oats, pasts, polenta, amaranth, wheatberries and many others)
- Legumes and Beans
These types of aliments should be consumed at every meal because they can provide you with all the necessary nutrients, including carbohydrates, vitamins, proteins, carbohydrates, minerals and the 9 essential amino acids.
3. The second layer is also divided into three categories of aliments that need to be consumed daily:
- Nuts and seeds (almonds, hazelnuts, macademia nuts, peanuts, walnuts, tahini, pistachios, pine nuts; flax, sesame, pumpkin seeds, sunflower)
- Egg Whites, Soy milk and Dairy (cheese has to be consumed in moderation and in the case of milk and yogurt they are recommended in lowfat versions)
- Plant oils (olive, soybean, corn, peanuts, safflower, avocado)
4. The third layer includes:
These aliments can be consumed weekly.
This diet was created for people who choose a vegetarian way of eating that includes eggs and dairy products. For those who decide to go vegan, the diet might not be able to offer all the necessary nutrients for a healthy alimentation, this is why the Harvard School of Public Health and Oldways recommend adding supplements.
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Filed under: Nutrition by Alice in Dietland