What a Plant-Based Diet Food Pyramid Should Consist Of
A food pyramid is created based on a variety of elements and aims to ensure that one achieves a healthy and well-balanced diet, ensuring the correct amount of nutrients and macros are intaken daily. A vegan food chart adopts the same principles but is of course modified to suit a plant-based lifestyle. Most of us, especially when first going vegan pay little attention to our nutritional needs, but when removing key elements such s meat, dairy, and fish from our diet it is of the utmost importance that we do pay attention to what, and how much we are putting into our bodies each day. Thus the vegetarian food pyramid comes in handy, more than anything it acts as a guideline for essential information to keep us on track and ensure our bodies are not only looking good but feeling good too.
What Is a Vegan Food Pyramid?
A vegan food pyramid adopts the same principles as the traditional food pyramid set out by the government to aid people in making the right decisions when it comes to the types of foods they choose to eat on a day-to-day basis. It gives you a rough idea of how much or little a ceratin food group should be incorporated and highlights the importance of each to achieve optimal nutritional value.
A food pyramid for vegans does the same thing but only incorporates plant-based options, thus showing you the amounts of certain food groups to need to ensure you are getting all the right amount of proteins, calcium, fats, and carbohydrates. The shape of the pyramid highlights the food groups that should be eaten the most at the bottom all the way up to the peak where the smallest and thus least incorporated food group is included.
A Plant-Based Diet Food Pyramid
An example of what a vegan diet food pyramid would typically look like goes as follows. The vegan food pyramid consists of grains, vegetables, fruits, legumes, healthy fats, and fortified dairy substitutes.
Fruits & Vegetables
The bottom level and thus the biggest food group of a vegan food pyramid is made up of a combination of both fruits and vegetables, fruit being consumed in 1 ½ – 2 ½ cups s a day and vegetables making up for around 2-4 cups a day. The fruit you could include consists of berries, apples, lemons, melon, grapes, and mango, whilst some vegetable options to incorporate include, corn, broccoli, tomatoes, leafy greens, carrots, and peppers.
The second level of a vegan food guide pyramid is typically made up of Grains, these include things such as bread, pasta, rice, flour, barley, and wheat and are recommended to be eaten in an amount of 3-5 ½ cups per day, most commonly making up the base of most of your meals.
Fortified Dairy Substitutes and Legumes, Beans, seeds, and nuts
Moving upwards in the vegan diet pyramid you get your fortified dairy substitutes also known as the calcium group, which include things such as plant-based milk, yogurts, vegan cheese, coconut butter, and basically any other dairy-free substitute of your choice, which would typically make up for around a serving of 1-2 cups.
The legumes,beans, seeds, and nuts group makeup around 1-2 cups per day as well and consists of products including lentils, kidney beans, black beans, chickpeas, pinto beans, tempeh, tofu, satan, cashews, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, almonds, brazil nuts, and walnuts.
Fats & Sugar
Last but not least making up for the smallest section of the vegan nutrition pyramid is fats & sugar which are recommended to be consumed in moderation and sparingly. This category consists of things such as certain oils, sugar, salt, condiments, cakes and pastries, and sweets, and chocolates.
Tips With the Vegan Food Pyramid
One very important thing to remember when it comes to a healthy food pyramid vegan and well balanced is that it acts as a guideline and a rough idea of how much of certain foods groups you should incorporate into your day to day life, this is not to say you cannot allow yourself a bit more or a bit less on any particular day but rather demonstrates what a typical meal should consist of and aims to ensure you are getting enough of the vitamins, minerals, and macros that your body needs for strength and wellbeing.
Along with adjusting your meals to ensure your plate is full of veg, some grains, vegan protein, dairy-free alternatives, and healthy fats one also needs to remember that drinking lots of water throughout the day and opting for regular exercise are also components that are an essential part of a well-balanced diet. Picking unprocessed foods and avoiding ready meals are also key factors when choosing to follow the nutritional guidelines of a vegan food pyramid.
But at the same time don’t avoid treating yourself, don’t be too hard on yourself, and enjoy the food you are cooking and eating. At the same time, you should also ensure that you are getting all the micronutrients you need and don’t be shy of using supplements such as vitamin B12, Vitamin D3, Iodine, and Iron.
The Bottom Line
Now that you have had the vegan food pyramid explained and have a better idea of the guidelines set out for achieving the most well-balanced plant-based diet possible, the rest is all in your hands. Ensuring that you get a good mixture of fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes, dairy substitutes, fats, and sugars will make you feel your best and look your best too, achieving a healthy and happy body from the inside out. Don’t overthink the vegan food pyramid and rather use it as a measuring cup on how your plate should typically look when you sit down to have a meal, get creative in the kitchen, take your time to cook and eat your meals, drinks lots of water and at the end of the day just enjoy it all.
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