So, the Vegan Food Pyramid was designed to act as a "mirror" to the conventional Food Pyramid. When most of us first go vegan, we sort of wing it because we usually have ZERO clue about what we're doing.
So the Pyramid points you in the right direction, taking the guesswork out of which foods you should eat in order to get the proper nutrition you need. So what we'll cover here is which food groups appear in the Pyramid and how to make use of the recommendations. There's a wealth of information here that will help jump start your vegan diet and cooking adventure. But the cool thing about this Pyramid is that all the animal foods found in the conventional Pyramid have been replaced with plant foods that contain key nutrients that are very similar to those found in animal products -- without a smidge of cholesterol, of course. The recommendations for the foods in the Vegan Food Pyramid are not necessarily DAILY recommendations, but the foods you should strive to eat in a 48-hour time period. Look at the Veggie Group in the Pyramid - and note that the recommendation is 2-4 cups of veggies.
For instance, the Pyramid's Fortified Soymilk and Alternates grouping takes the place of the conventional pyramid's Dairy Food Group -- both food groups focus on calcium-rich foods. A serving of calcium-rich greens (like Kale or Broccoli) count as a serving in the Vegetables Group AND in the Fortified Soymilks and Alternates.

If you need help figuring out which foods fall into which groups, then visit my in-depth nutrition article where you will find a tool to help you figure out the nutritional data for various foods. Now you have a general idea of the various food groups you should be including in your diet, it's time to learn more about each group and how to incorporate them into your diet. Take a peek at the Vegan Protein Guide to learn which foods with protein will meet your needs, how many servings you need, and finally how to select and prepare these protein-rich foods.
There are some very important nutrients we need to be sure to supplement with and you can learn about these in my Vegan Nutrition Guide.
From 1956-1992, the USDA presented "The Four Food Groups", which many of us can remember from our days in elementary school. But seriously, they recommend 30 percent of our diet should be grains, 30 percent vegetables, 20 percent fruits and 20 percent protein. And furthermore, the USDA and the US Department of Health and Human Services came out with a Vegan Adaptation of their normal food recommendations in the USDA 2010 Dietary Guidelines. One thing I can promise you, if the USDA and the HHS didn't stand behind the vegan diet they certainly would not have prepared this vegan adaptation! Whether you are 100% plant-based or not, you need to take control and educate yourself as much as you can about the food you put in your mouth and its effect on your health and wellness. Because we are always learning new facts about food and nutrition, and it's very important to not get "stuck" in a food rut that may have been based on something you learned when you were a kid.

Many people who have major health challenges and diseases and decide to go vegan have actually been able to heal themselves through diet.
The vegan diet is here to stay, no doubt about it, and it is gaining even more momentum as time goes by. Hope this article has helped you to feel confident in choosing the foods and beverages that make up a healthy and well-balanced diet. Hi, I'm Sassy - I've been Vegan since 1994 and created this website to teach you all I know. Use it as a general guide so you understand the various food groups you want to reach for to keep your vegan diet in balance. I have been vegan now for eight weeks and the clear layout and endless ongoing information on your website is awesome. Check out the Fresh Vegetables Guide, including WHY veggies are healthy, a primer on organics, necessary servings, juicing ideas, some general rules about veggies, and more (!), plus how to select, clean, cook and flavor your vegetables.

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