If you are thinking about becoming a vegetarian, you might be surprised to know that there is a food pyramid that you can use as a guide just like the food pyramid that is recommended by health professionals for people who do eat meat. The vegetarian pyramid contains recommendations for dairy since vegetarians, unlike vegans, do eat dairy, so if you are wanting to be a vegan, you need to take that into consideration!
At the bottom of the vegetarian pyramid are the basics of a good vegetarian lifestyle. These are foods that you can eat liberally – as many as six to eleven servings per day. The base of the vegetarian pyramid includes whole grain bread, pasta, rice, and cereal.
The second part of the vegetarian pyramid includes foods that can be eaten generously. There are two parts to the second step of the vegetarian pyramid – the vegetable and fruit group. You can have three to five servings a day of this food group and they are good for you as well as good tasting. This part of the vegetarian pyramid includes all types of fruits and vegetables. Keep in mind that fruit contains a large amount of water so you will want to take it a little easy on the fruit so that you don’t retain too much water.
Then we take a step up the vegetarian pyramid to the level just below the top. Again, there are two sections to this part of the pyramid and they should be eaten in moderation. That means two to three servings per day. The first part of this step in the vegetarian pyramid is the low-fat and/or no-fat milk, yogurt, fresh cheese, and fortified alternatives such as soy milk and fortified yogurt products. The second part of this step is the meat alternative part of the vegetarian lifestyle which contains your proteins. That means beans, nuts, and seeds.
The final part of the vegetarian pyramid is the one where you want to consume sparingly. That’s because even though these ingredients are necessary, if you eat too much of them, it can be detrimental to your health if you eat too much. The top part of the vegetarian pyramid includes vegetable fats, oils, sweets, and salts.
Just like knowing the part of a “regular” pyramid, knowing the steps of the vegetarian pyramid can be very helpful when you are planning out your vegetarian meals. You need to be sure that you are getting the right amount of servings of foods that will help keep you healthy and keep your body working at its maximum potential – all without meat!
And remember to include a teaspoon a day of certified organic probiotic superfood to keep you healthy on the inside too.