Vegetarian Diet Pyramid
The Vegetarian Diet Pyramid is the fourth diet pyramid released by Oldways. It was presented at the 1997 International Conference on Vegetarian Diets held in Austin, Texas. This pyramid is a guide to a healthy, traditional vegetarian eating pattern, which includes dairy and eggs.
Many variations of vegetarian diets have existed in different cultures throughout history, and the Traditional Vegetarian Diet illustrated in this pyramid reflects the vast variety of delicious, healthy foods that fit into this eating pattern. Click here to see a list of foods typically included in vegetarian diets.
A plant-based diet can be an excellent source of all the necessary nutrients (protein, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, and all nine essential amino acids) for optimal health, particularly when a wide variety of foods are eaten each day. Some vegetarians (especially vegans) may need to add supplements to ensure that they are getting all the essential nutrients they require.
Agricultural sustainability is a positive aspect of vegetarian diets. The industrial food production system, heavily focused on meat production (beef, pork, sheep, and poultry, etc.), is not sustainable. Plant crops (including grains, beans, vegetables) require fewer natural resources such as fuel, water, and land area than do livestock and poultry, making them more sustainable.