Vegan Food Pyramid – Eat a Balanced Diet Without Animal Products | Dennispoint Campground MD

A balanced diet is important for vegans. Tailored to your specific needs, our pyramid shows at a glance how much you need to eat to get a diet with all the important nutrients.

Eat with the vegan food pyramid

In addition to the general food pyramid, vegans will find here a variant with products without animal origin. The chart illustrates which food groups you should include in your diet and in what proportion. Below you will find practical advice to put the nutritional recommendations into practice on a day-to-day basis.

The Broad Base: Beverages

Drinking a lot is also the motto of the vegan food pyramid. The recommendation to give preference to water, fruit juices, tea and spritzer also applies without restriction to vegans. As soon as dairy (products) are avoided, calcium intake can become critical. Calcium-containing mineral water (with more than 150 milligrams of calcium per liter) and calcium-enriched soy, rice, oat, or nut beverages and fortified juices are therefore well suited as alternative sources of calcium for the vegans.

Main foods for vegans: fruits, salads and vegetables

For vegans, vegetables and fruits are one of the main sources of nutrients in the vegan food pyramid. To ensure optimal intake, legumes such as peas, beans and lupins form the basis of a vegan diet. Legumes are rich in fiber and also provide the body with abundant vegetable protein and starch. Lupins are among the modern legumes that are generally better tolerated than other legumes, even in large quantities.

Vegetables and fruits in particular provide the water-soluble vitamins B and C. Vitamin B12 is important for everyone and may be insufficient in a vegan diet. Therefore, when consuming vegetables, more varieties fermented with lactic acid can be used, such as raw B. sauerkraut. Milk fermented vegetables can also be made from pointed cabbage, red cabbage, carrots, pickles, beets, and beets.

Green vegetables like broccoli, spinach, and kale also provide calcium. Onions and mushrooms are very popular among vegans because, in addition to being easy to process, they also provide enough vitamin D. However, when choosing mushrooms, you should pay attention to the method of cultivation. Fungi are often grown in cultures mixed with animal feces.

To fill: Noodles, rice and bread

When it comes to pasta, vegans should look to egg-free products. Study the ingredient list carefully, as egg-free pasta may still contain trace amounts of egg. Greater scrutiny for bread and cereal products is also important. The basic recipe for bread and rolls or some types of pasta is vegan. Products such as butter or bakery additives of animal origin are often used for further processing. The best thing you can do is simply bake your own bread and, if necessary, replace animal products with vegan foods. In our quinoa bread recipe, for example, the buttermilk can also be replaced with a vegan milk substitute.

Mix It Up: Plant-Based Protein Providers

Tofu, soy milk, legumes and nuts are important suppliers of vegetable protein. These must be incorporated into the daily diet in order to provide the body with high-quality protein. Legumes include: beans, soybeans, lentils of all colors, peas, and chickpeas. Wheat protein products (seitan), tofu products, or tempeh are often considered meat substitutes. (Tip: Making seitan yourself is super easy. Check out our instructions.) With plant-based proteins, the biological value must be considered. You can get high value by combining several protein providers, for example legumes with corn or grains with nuts.

If you want to add variety to your diet, you can access varieties of cereals such as amaranth and quinoa. These exotic “grains” offer a spectrum of amino acids that most closely resembles human amino acids. If you want to be safe, you can mix similar grains and varieties.

You should pay attention to this:

  • Choose a protein-rich meat alternative made from pulses or seitan with every main meal: try one of our seitan recipes, for example, for chops or schnitzels. How about vegan falafel balls with soy mayonnaise sauce and salad?
  • In the case of vegetable proteins, attention should be paid to the biological value. Chile without Meat z. B., made up of different types of beans with corn, contributes to the optimal supply of vegetable proteins.
  • Almond butter is ideal as a substitute for cheese. Almond butter in a vegetable or potato casserole tastes creamy and crunchy at the same time. Our recipe reveals how to make vegan cheese yourself.
  • Simply refine the oatmeal, amaranth, and quinoa-based breakfast muesli with walnuts, almonds, or seeds.

Moderate and Selected: Oils and Fats

Eat fatty and vegetable oils. There are many vegetable oils. They provide you with so-called monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids, which are important for the body. As carriers of fat-soluble vitamin E, they protect cells. Just try all the oils from A to Z (apricot kernel oil, borage oil, peanut oil, hemp oil, pumpkin seed oil, flaxseed oil, poppy seed oil, olive oil, walnut oil, sesame oil, grapeseed oil, walnut oil and lemon seed oil). Choose high-quality cold-pressed oils for cold salads and vegetables. Walnuts also provide plenty of good fats.

Variety is important. Use a different oil for each meal. Margarine based on non-hydrogenated fats or coconut oil can be used very well as a substitute for butter in frying, baking and spreads.

Savor consciously: chocolate, snacks and desserts

At the top of the vegan food pyramid are high-calorie delicacies, which you should only consciously consume in small amounts. Avoid gelatin-based additives in gummy bears, as they often contain animal-derived components. In our collection of vegan recipes you will find suggestions for delicious desserts and cakes without ingredients of animal origin, such as our delicious vegan pumpkin pie.

What else should you be thinking about as a vegan?

Along with a vegan diet, you should also consider the following to ensure a supply of all essential nutrients:

  • Iron: Vegans lack the main source of iron: meat. Iron is important for oxygen transport in the blood, the immune system, and energy metabolism. So watch out for iron-rich plant-based foods like oats, whole grains, oilseeds, nuts, legumes, and green vegetables like spinach and Swiss chard. Combine these iron providers with foods rich in vitamin C to promote the availability of plant-based iron. Bell peppers, broccoli, oranges, and strawberries offer a good option here.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids and iodine: Those who avoid fish and shellfish may also be consuming too little omega-3 fatty acids and iodine. High-quality vegetable oils rich in alpha-linolenic acid make an important contribution to the supply of omega-3 fatty acids. Good sources include flaxseed, walnut, sesame, and canola oils. Walnuts, chia seeds, herbs, and flaxseeds also provide omega-3s. To ensure iodine intake, the use of iodized table salt is recommended. Seaweed also contains a lot of iodine, although the iodine content varies greatly depending on the variety. For example, eating seaweed can easily lead to excessive iodine intake.
  • B vitamins: As vitamin B12 is very well preserved, reserves theoretically last up to 3 years. However, if you’re eating vegan long-term, you need to monitor your blood levels of vitamin B12. Vitamin B12 can be obtained, for example, from fortified foods such as multivitamin B juices, or as a dietary supplement. The main sources of vitamin B2, such as meat, milk, cheese and eggs, do not fit into a vegan diet. Therefore, vegans must make a conscious food choice! Possible alternative sources of vitamin B2 for vegans are whole grain products, mushrooms and spinach.
  • Vitamin D: Vitamin D is an exceptional nutrient that is only partially obtained from food. It plays a central role in calcium metabolism and is important for the immune system. Our body forms vitamin D with the help of sunlight. 15 to 20 minutes of daily sun on the hands and face are enough during the summer months. During the winter months, the sun’s rays seem to be too weak for sufficient vitamin D formation. An extra serving of vitamin D, for example from mushrooms, is exactly what you need. Vitamin D-fortified products (eg, plant-based beverages) are also a means of meeting the need.
  • Zinc: The trace element zinc plays an important role in the metabolic processes of our body. Zinc is necessary for many enzymes in the metabolism of proteins, carbohydrates and fats. Possible alternative sources of zinc for vegans include whole grain products, lentils, pumpkin seeds, oatmeal, and spinach. Whole grains should always be heated (for example, like making bread with whole wheat flour) or eaten fluffy so that the phytic acid they contain does not interfere with zinc absorption.

An opinion

A purely vegan diet requires very good nutritional knowledge in order to ensure a supply of all important vital substances. In the case of infants, young children and pregnant women, medical advice should be sought and dietary supplements or fortified products should be consulted.

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