Vegan guidelines join vegetarian pyramid

by Jeff Gelski
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BOSTON — Oldways has added vegan guidelines to an updated vegetarian diet pyramid. Boston-based Oldways, a nonprofit food and nutrition education organization, first introduced a vegetarian diet pyramid in 1997. The updated “Vegetarian & Vegan Diet Pyramid” was launched on Oct. 19 of this year. The vegan guidelines are similar to the vegetarian guidelines, according to Oldways.

Click to view the updated pyramid.

“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 Sharon Palmer, a registered dietitian and a member of a scientific committee that helped put together the updated guidelines. “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.”

The pyramid features a variety of foods such as vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, whole grains, legumes, herbs and spices. Committee members included Joan Sabaté of Loma Linda University in Loma Linda, Calif., David Jenkins and Cyril Kendall of the University of Toronto, and Walter Willett and Frank Sacks of the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston. Besides Ms. Palmer, other registered dietitians on the committee included Kathy McManus and Ginny Messina.

“Interest in following a plant-based diet is at an all-time high, whether people pack their plants 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.”
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