Recommended Daily Servings for Each Level of the Pyramid

Oldways Vegetarian & Vegan Pyramid has been created by our 10-member scientific committee to highlight the beauty and variety of whole plant foods that characterize healthy, well-planned meatless diets.  It’s all about the food!  This visual guide serves as reminder that it’s important to eat foods from all of the pyramid levels every day if you’re a lacto-ovo vegetarian, and from all but the top level if you’re a vegan. Although our pyramid features primarily fresh foods, please note that frozen, canned, and dried plant foods are also an important part of a healthy diet.

The information below is presented as a general guide to serving sizes for moderately active adults. Additional servings may be needed for highly active individuals, and fewer servings may be needed for less active individuals. Our committee reviewed My Vegetarian Plate (General Conference Nutrition Council), Harvard School of Public Health Healthy Plate, and USDA MyPlate, to come up with these suggestions.

If you have questions about specific foods or food groups or if you have diabetes or other health issues, we recommend that you seek the advice of a local dietitian to develop a meal plan that’s best for you.

Foods What counts as a serving? Number of Daily Servings


½ cup fresh, canned, or frozen fruit

¼ cup dried fruit



1/2 cup cooked or 1 cup raw vegetables 4–6
Whole Grains

1 slice whole-grain bread

1 cup whole-grain cereal, ½ cup cooked brown rice, pasta, or other whole grains

Beans, Peas, Lentils, Soy

½ cup cooked beans, peas or lentils

 ½ cup tofu

1 cup soy milk

Nuts, Peanuts, Seeds, Peanut/Nut Butters

¼ cup nuts or seeds

2 tablespoons peanut or nut butter

Herbs, Spices, Plant Oils

Fresh or dried herbs and spices

1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil, canola oil, or other plant oil

Herbs/Spices:Use liberally


Plant Oils: Up to 5

Eggs and/or Dairy

1 egg

1 cup milk or yogurt, ¼ cup cheese, ½ cup cottage cheese

Eggs: 4–6 per week

Dairy: 1–3


Download Vegetarian/Vegan Diet 101 Brochure

To purchase hard copies of the brochure, please visit our Oldways store.


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