Attention, vegetarians and vegans: If you think that eating your veggies is the key to a proper plant-based diet, a new pyramid provides you with additional guidelines designed to boost your health. Unveiled at the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo by Oldways, the new pyramid enhances plant-based diet awareness.
“Interest in following a plant-based diet is at an all time high, whether people pack their plates with vegetables once a day, once a week, or all their lives," said Sara Baer-Sinnott, president of Oldways. “Yet there is more to vegetarian or vegan eating and Oldways’ Vegetarian & Vegan Diet Pyramid and other tools will help answer questions and provide people of all ages with a well-planned and well-balanced way to enjoy this healthy traditional diet."
A nonprofit food and nutrition education organization, Oldways unveiled its first plant-based Diet Pyramid in 1997. As awareness of the role that protein plays in health has grown, the need for a new pyramid became evident. As a result, the revised pyramid features plant-based protein sources such as legumes, nuts and seeds as well as vegetables, fruits, whole grains and even herbs.
“To reap the health rewards, it is important that people plan their plant-based diet meals, not just eat blueberries and lettuce, for example," said Oldways committee member and registered dietitian Sharon Palmer, author of a book "The Plant-Powered Diet: The Lifelong Eating Plan for Achieving Optimal Health, Beginning Today" (click for details).
“There are important nutritional profiles behind the Oldways Vegetarian & Vegan Diet Pyramid and it shows people the important variety of foods they can and should eat every day," she added.
The Physician's Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) also provides guidelines for vegans and vegetarians. PCRM founder Dr. Neal Barnard recently blogged about his appeal to former Vice President Dick Cheney, who suffered from heart attacks. (Learn about Cheney's discussion with Dr. Mehmet Oz on heart disease by clicking here.)
Dr. Barnard "asked that as he promotes his book he let people know that adopting a plant-based diet can prevent and reverse heart disease and the traumas he and his family endured."