1.  The estimated number of servings from each major food group required to satisfy various calorie needs for active vegetarians. Choose additional foods from any of the groups or from the discretionary calorie group as needed to meet energy needs.
  2.  Choose a variety of foods from the major food groups.
  3.  If you do not consume dairy products, choose five to eight servings per day of calcium-rich foods. Those conveniently listed in the third dimension of the Vegetarian Food Guide Pyramid provide approximately 10 percent of an adult’s daily requirements.
  4.  To meet iron needs, follow the pyramid plan and select a variety of iron-rich grains and legumes. Aim to consume a fruit or vegetable that contains vitamin C along with most meals to boost absorption.
  5.  Incorporate healthy fats in cooking and in dressing up foods and limit foods that are high in saturated and trans fats.
  6.  Include foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids.
  7.  Although not mandatory, a daily serving or two of nuts is a good idea, unless you have nut allergies. Nuts add additional energy, healthy fats, and an abundance of other nutrients . Servings of nuts and seeds can also serve as a source of protein and be used in place of servings from the fats group for people limiting energy requirements.
  8.  If you are vegan, include at least three good sources of vitamin B12 in your diet every day. These include one tablespoon (15 ml) of Red Star T 6635 nutritional yeast, one cup (236 ml) of fortified soy milk, one ounce (28 g) of fortified cereal,and 1.5 ounces (42 g) of fortified meat analogue. Servings for vegetarians include half a cup (118 ml) of cows’ milk, three-quarter cup (172 g) yogurt, and one egg.
  9.  Use iodized salt when cooking and in salting foods, particularly if you live in an area where the concentration of iodine in the soil is low.
  10.  Get adequate vitamin D from daily sun exposure or through fortified foods or supplements. Use of vegetarian vitamin D is controversial.
  11. Get most of your daily calories from the foods in the Vegetarian Food Guide Pyramid. One-third to one-half should come from whole food sources. Limit consumption of overly processed foods, which contain added sugars, high-fructose corn syrup, and unhealthy fats.

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