Healthy Vegetarian Diet
data from vegetarians across the world that enjoyed the lowest recorded
rates of chronic diseases and the highest adult life expectancy
show a pattern similar to the one illustrated in the list below.
The healthfulness of this pattern is corroborated by epidemiological
and experimental nutrition.
daily servings of foods from the three Fruits and Vegetables,
Whole Grains, and Legumes mini-pyramids.
servings from the three Nuts and Seeds, Plant Oils, and EggWhites,
Soy Milks and Dairy mini-pyramids.
or small-quantity servings from the Eggs and Sweets mini-pyramid.
to consuming a variety of foods from all seven mini-pyramids.
consumption of enough water throughout the day to assure good
physical activity at a level which promotes healthy weight,
fitness, and well-being.
upon whole foods and minimally processed foods in preference
to highly-processed foods.
regular intake of alcoholic beverages such as wine, beer or
consumption of unrefined plant oils.
supplements as necessary, based upon factors such as age, sex,
and lifestyle, with special attention to those avoiding dairy
and/or eggs (Vitamins D and B12 ).
exactly is a healthful diet, and can a vegetarian diet be classified
as such? According to the 1995 Dietary Guidelines for Americans,
healthful diets contain the amounts of essential nutrients and energy
needed to prevent nutritional deficiencies and excesses. Healthful
diets also provide the right balance of carbohydrate, fat and protein
to reduce risks for chronic diseases, and they are obtained from
a variety of foods that are available, affordable and enjoyable.
Despite the endorsement of vegetarian diets by the new U.S. Dietary
Guidelines, many myths concerning various aspects of vegetarian
diets still exist.
The myth that the nine essential amino acids cannot be
obtained without incorporating meat into the diet is gradually diminishing.
People are quickly learning that they can easily combine a variety
of grains and vegetables to ensure that all nine amino acids are
obtained in adequate amounts. In fact, according to articles in
the May 1994 Supplement American Journal of Clinical Nutrition,
plant protein foods contribute approximately 65 percent of the per
capita supply of protein on a worldwide basis.
Diet of No Taste
Contrary to the wide-spread belief that a vegetarian
diet must be monotonous and devoid of taste, a vegetarian meals
are very delicious and exciting, especially when several varieties
of grains, fruits, and vegetables are combined. A meal that removes
meat from the plate and leaves only an unseasoned baked potato and
a poorly-prepared salad may well be dull in flavor. However, when
people discover and learn to experiment with the wide array of spices
and herbs readily available for their pantry shelves, the combinations
of flavors and tastes are endless, and vegetarian cooking becomes
a culinary adventure.
and graphic courtesy from
The OldWays Preservation and Exchange
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