Foods groups

Cereals (6-11 servings)
Wheat, oat, millet, barley, bulgur wheat, corn, rice, rye, buckwheat, amaranth, quinoa bread, pasta...

This group is the basis of a healthy vegetarian diet. It should be part of all your meals.
It provides calories, carbohydrates, proteins, fibers, iron, zinc, vitamin B and calcium.

Do not limit your consumption of grain to one or two kinds. There are many different grains.
Except the cooking time, the basic cooking is the same for all of them. Look into ethnic cookbooks to see how people around the world accommodate them.

Prefer organic whole grains which are more nutritious than processed ones.

Vegetables (3-5 servings)
Broccoli, cabbage, spinach, pumpkin, carrot, squash, turnip, rutabaga, tomato, beet, leek, mushroom, eggplant, okra, cauliflower, green peas, green beans, etc...

They are rich in fiber, potassium, beta-carotene, vitamin C, magnesium...

You can eat more than 5 servings daily as long as you do not increase the fats (ex: you can double your consumption of lettuce but do not double the seasonning).

Leafy green vegetables are particularly rich in calcium and folate. You should have two servings of them daily.

Do not eat the same vegetable for all you servings. You should have more than two varieties of vegetables daily.

Try to eat cruciferous vegetables (cabbage, Brusselles sprouts, broccoli...) several times a week.

Buy vegetables in season; they are cheaper and taste better.

Fruits (2-4 servings)
Orange, grapefruit, lemon, apple, pear, pineapple, peach, plum, strawberry, blueberry, kiwi, nectarine, mango, papaya, banana, etc...

Dried fruits: raisin, fig, date, pineapple, prune, apricot...

They are rich in vitamin C, Beta carotene, fibers, potassium, folate, magnesium... They are low in calories (except dried fruits).

Milk and milk alternatives (4-6 servings)
Yogurt, cheese, milk, soy milk enriched in calcium, almond, tahini, green vegetables (kale, collards, Bok Choy, Chinese cabbage, okra, broccoli...)

They are rich in calcium, proteins, vitamin A and D, Vitamin B2 and B12

If soy products are not fortified in calcium they cannot be part of this group. Read the labels.

Legumes, nuts, seeds and meat alternative (2-3 servings)
Kidney beans, adzuki beans, mung beans, lentils, soybeans, chickpeas, split peas, peanuts, etc...

They contain proteins, carbohydrates, fibers, iron, zinc, calcium and B vitamins.

There are endless delicious ways to prepare them.

Beans are known for causing flatulences. A solution to this problem is to soak the beans two times with a boiling in between.

If you are not used to consume beans, add them one at a time in your diet. First try them in soups. They are easy to make.

Almond, walnut, hazelnut, chestnut, Brazil, pecan, cashew, etc...

They provide proteins and energy.
Walnuts are high in alpha linolenic acid.
Tahini and almond butter are especially rich in calcium.

Pine nut, sesame, pumpkin, sunflower, etc...

Tofu, tempeh, soy drink, etc...
Eggs. Limit your consumption to 4 per week since they are rich in cholesterol.

They are source of proteins, rich in iron, zinc, B vitamins, and fibers.
They are a fairly good source of calcium as well.

Essential fats
Omega-6 fatty acid is easily found in the food whereas omega-3 is less present in food and you need to be attentive.
It is recommended that vegetarians include good sources of linolenic acid in their diet.

Read the article about Essential fatty acids.

Realized by Laurence LIVERNAIS-SAETTEL, dietetian
© Copyright L. Livernais-Saettel 2000
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