A new food guide for North American vegetarians

Can J Diet Pract Res. Summer 2003;64(2):82-6. doi: 10.3148/64.2.2003.82.


This companion paper to the Position of the American Dietetic Association and Dietitians of Canada: Vegetarian Diets, presents a new food guide for vegetarians. Two graphic formats are presented, a rainbow and a pyramid. The guide will assist vegetarians in choosing diets that meet recent recommendations established by the Institute of Medicine for nutrients including protein, iron, zinc, calcium, vitamin D, riboflavin, vitamin B-12, vitamin A, omega-3 fatty acids, and iodine. The guide can be adapted for different types of vegetarian diets and includes a wide variety of foods commonly used by vegetarians. The guide is based on the following food groups: grains; vegetables; fruits; legumes; nuts, and other protein-rich foods; fats; and Calcium-rich foods. The calcium-rich foods food group is planned to offer expanded choices for calcium sources and includes foods from each of the other food groups. Specific guidelines are given for meeting requirements for vitamins B-12 and D. Modifications are provided to meet needs of different stages of the life cycle. This vegetarian food guide has a number of advantages including the promotion of variety and moderation within the context of vegetarian diets, a focus on foods commonly consumed by vegetarians, and a foundation in current nutritional science.

MeSH terms

  • Diet, Vegetarian*
  • Food / classification*
  • Guidelines as Topic
  • Humans
  • Nutrition Policy*
  • Nutritional Requirements
  • Plants, Edible / classification