Vegetarian Food Pyramid

A Healthy Eating Routine.

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It doesn't matter what style of food you are having, if it isn't prepared as it should be it can be very unhealthy so it is important to have a healthy eating routine. Vegetarians, just like meat eaters, need to have the range of nutritious foods and the best place to start is the vegetarian food pyramid.

Having great quantities of one particluar food, for example breads, is the same as those who eat lots of animal meats without the basic vegetables.Vegetarian Food Pyramid

The foundation of the vegetarian food pyramid is what you should eat the most of. This is made up of grains, foods made from cereals, fruits and vegetables.  Grain foods encompass wheat (see notes below), rice, barley, corn, oats, rye, millet and buckwheat.

In my Nutrition Book I have a complete chapter dedicated to wheat and grains which makes for interesting reading.

More importantly are the vegetables and the more of them you can eat raw the better.  Fruit is also there, however, I would suggest not to eat quite as much due to the sugar content...or choose fruits that are low in sugar.

List for low sugar fruits click here

The following tier of the pyramid for vegetarians is the protein food.  Many new vegetarians can struggle with this, as they have been brought up to believe that proteins come from animal products. 

More on Proteins

Pulses are peas, beans and any type and lentils. These are a very intregal part of the vegetarian or vegan diet.

The next tier up is the fibre tier.  Fibre can be found in many fruits and vegetables and should be included in the daily meal plan.

Usually the highest tier of the vegetarian food pyramid, (the part to have the least regularly), is made up of sugar, butter, cream, margarine, oils, alcohol, tea and coffee.  You'll find this more in a meat pyramid.  Obviously these items we really shouldn't eat at all, hence the reason I haven't included them in my pyramid.

So, if you look at my top tier (excluding the supplements) you'll see that I've included the good fats. Now these are a necessary part of the daily intake, just do so in moderation.  All nuts are high in fat so just a small handfull a day is optimum. Good oils are also to be respected and used sparingly. In my book "A Clean Eating Nutrition Guide", a whole chapter is dedicated to fats and you'll be surprised at the new research that is coming out.

Nutritional Guide

This food pyramid does not include dairy or eggs. So if you are Vegan, you will be able to use this chart easily. If you are Vegetarian, then I suggest you limit your intake of dairy and eggs to only a couple of times a week. The less dairy you have, the better for your health (the animals and the environment), try replacing milk, cut back on the cheese and see how much better you feel.

If you go along with a food guide, arranging your meals will be much easier. The lowest tier  is what should be eaten in abundance every day. Beginning at breakfast try fruit with muesli or have a smoothie. Lunch could be salad or cooked vegetables with quinoa and fruit. Subsequently at dinner time pulses, pasta or rice as a base with salad or vegetables, then a fruit dessert.

 vegetarian meal

Now to the uppermost part of the pyramid. There are foods that I haven't added, and these are the foods that many people could find rather problematic to exclude from their diet. I'm not advocating that you stop altogether. Having some ice-cream, or sweet treats every so often is perfectly fine.  It's when you are eating it every day that it can become a problem to your health. A little amount of butter or margarine on bread is all right. A small amount of olive oil on salad or for sautéing onions at dinner is entirely admissible. Intermittent glass of wine with dinner and a sweet indulgence sometimes does no damage at all. Tea and coffee are also all right providing you are not drinking cupfulls of the caffein on a daily basis.

If, by chance, you have a fat filled lunch, or you realize that you will have an extravagant dinner, try to make up for it with the other meals of the day by concentrating on having refreshing fruits, vegetables and some grain foods.

Having a vegan or vegetarian diet is all about blending the nutritional quality of food throughout the day and it is straightforward to achieve if the vegetarian food pyramid guidelines are followed.

Note:  Research has shown that today's wheat is bad for us, so please limit the amount you have.

Taken from my book: " A Clean Eating Nutrition Guide".

"....Now we come to modern day. It was in the 19th century when things started to change.  Somewhere between 1856 and 1863, Gregor Mendel tested almost 28,000 pea plants to perfect his "Laws of Inheritance" which, I hear you ask, "Has what to do with wheat?"  Well, the "Laws of Inheritance" in turn led to the modern study of genetics. - Genetically Engineered, or you may have heard of it as GMO (genetically modified organisms).

So, in the early part of the 20th century, Mendel's theories were put to commercial use.  To meet the demands of the growing population it was decided that long-lasting flour was needed.  The part that spoiled the flour, the outer bran and germ layers, were taken out.  And, just like rice, the wheat lost most of its nutrients....."

It doesn't stop there, but you'll need to get the book to learn more ...

Nutritional Guide

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