The U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services have released the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. This evidence based document assists policy makers, nutrition professionals, food assistance program administrators, the food industry, scientists, academics, and the nutrition-focused media with a consistent, science-based foundation for their nutrition efforts.
The 2010 Dietary Guidelines states: “In prospective studies of adults, compared to non-vegetarian eating patterns, vegetarian style-eating patterns have been associated with improved health outcomes –lower levels of obesity, a reduced risk of cardiovascular diseases, and lower total mortality. Several clinical trials have documented that vegetarian eating patterns lower blood pressure.”
The Guidelines continue: “On average, vegetarians consume a lower proportion of calories from fat (particularly saturated fatty acids); fewer overall calories; and more fiber, potassium, and vitamin C than do non-vegetarians. Vegetarians generally have a lower body mass index. These characteristics and other lifestyle factors associated with a vegetarian diet may contribute to the positive health outcomes that have
been identified among vegetarians.”
The Dietary Guidelines include vegetarian and vegan adaptations of USDA food patterns. The vegan dairy group includes calcium-fortified beverages and foods commonly used as substitutes for milk and milk products.
While the USDA Average Daily Food Pattern of the Protein Group at the 2,000 Calorie Level includes 1.8 ounces of meat, 1.5 ounces of poultry, 1.2 oz. of seafood, .4 oz. of egg, no beans and peas, less than .1oz. of soy products, and .5 oz of nuts for a total of 5.5 ounces, THE VEGAN ADAPTATION INCLUDES 1.9 oz. of beans and peas, 1.4 oz. of soy products, and 2.2 oz. of seeds and nuts for a total of 5.5 ounces.
THE U.S.D.A. DAILY VEGAN FOOD PATTERN FOR A 2,000 DAILY INTAKE INCLUDES:
Fruit, 2 cups/day
Dark-green vegetables, 1 ½ cups/week
Red and orange vegetables, 5 ½ cups/week
Beans and peas, 1 ½ cups/week
Starchy Vegetables, 5 cups/week
Other Vegetables, 4 cups/week
Whole grains, 3 oz./day
Refined grains, 3 oz./day
Beans and Peas (in addition to above), 13oz./week
Soy Products, 10 oz./week
Nuts and Seeds, 15oz./week
Dairy (vegan), 3 cups/day
The vegan dairy group is composed of calcium-fortified beverages and foods from plant sources. For analysis purposes, the following products were included: calcium-fortified soy beverage, calcium-fortified rice milk, tofu made with calcium-sulfate, and calcium-fortified soy yogurt.
This is not personal nutrition advice. For personal medical and nutrition advice, please speak to your health professional.