The following is from the
"Vegetarian Starter Kit"
produced by the
for Responsible Medicine (see below)
Many of us grew up with the USDA's old Basic Four food
groups, first introduced in 1956. The passage of time has seen an increase
in our knowledge about the importance of fiber, the health risks of cholesterol
and fats, and the disease-preventive power of many nutrients found exclusively
in plant-based foods. We also have discovered that the plant kingdom provides
excellent sources of the nutrients once only associated with meat and
dairy products -- namely, protein and calcium.
The USDA revised its recommendations with the Food Guide
Pyramid, a food grouping plan that reduced the serving suggestions for
animal products and vegetable fats. PCRM, determining that regular consumption
of such foods -- even in lower quantities poses serious, unnecessary health
risks, developed the New Four Food Groups in 1991. This no-cholesterol,
low-fat plan supplies all of an average adult's daily nutritional requirements.
including substantial amounts of fiber.
The major killers of Americans -- heart disease, cancer,
and stroke-- have a dramatically lower incidence among people consuming
primarily plant-based diets. Weight problems -- a contributor to a host
of health problems -- can also be brought under control by following the
New Four Food Group recommendations.
Try the New Four Food Groups and discover a healthier
way to live!
3 or more servings a day
Vegetables are packed with nutrients;
they provide vitamin C, beta-carotene, riboflavin, iron, calcium,
fiber, and other nutrients. Dark green, leafy vegetables such
as broccoli, collards, kale, mustard and turnip greens, chicory,
or bok choy are especially good sources of these nutrients.
Dark yellow and orange vegetables such as carrots, winter squash,
sweet potatoes, and pumpkin provide extra beta-carotene. Include
generous portions of a variety of vegetables in your diet. Serving
size: 1 cup raw vegetables, 1/2 cup cooked vegetables.
5 or more servings a day
This group includes bread, rice, pasta,
hot or cold cereal. corn, millet, barley, buglar, buckwheat
groats, and tortillas. Build each of your meals around a hearty
grain dish -- grains are rich in fiber and other complex carbohydrates,
as well as protein, B vitamins, and zinc Serving size: 1/2 cup
hot cereal, 1 ounce dry cereal, 1 slice bread
3 or more servings a day
Fruits are rich in fiber, vitamin C,
and betacarotene. Be sure to include at least one serving each
day of fruits that are high in vitamin C -- citrus fruits, melons,
and strawberries are all good choices. Choose whole fruit over
fruit juices, which do not contain very much fiber. Serving
size: 1 medium piece of fruit, 1/2 cup cooked fruit, 4 ounces
2 or more servings a day
Legumes -- which is another name for
beans, peas, and lentils -- are all good sources of fiber, protein,
iron, calcium, zinc, and B vitamins. This group also includes
chickpeas, baked and refried beans, soy milk, tempeh, and texturized
vegetable protein. Serving size: 1/2 cup cooked beans, 4 ounces
tofu or tempeh, 8 ounces soy milk.
Click here to find out how to receive a copy of the
an informative booklet on the whys and hows of adopting a vegetarian
or vegan diet,
or call (202) 686-2210.
Or write to:
Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine
5100 Wisconsin Ave. N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20016