Vegetarian Diet Pyramid is a nutrition guide that represents a traditional healthy vegetarian diet. Variations of this traditional healthy vegetarian diet exist throughout the world, particularly in parts of North America, Europe, South America, and most notably, Asia. Given these carefully defined parameters, the phrase "Traditional Vegetarian Diet" is used here to represent the healthy traditional ovo-lacto vegetarian diets of these regions and peoples. The pyramid was created by Oldways in 1998 with scientific research from Cornell and Harvard University and specific reference to the healthy patterns of eating demonstrated by the Mediterranean Diet Pyramid.
The Vegetarian Diet Pyramid suggests the types and frequencies of foods that should be enjoyed for health. The pyramid is divided into daily, weekly, and monthly frequencies, but does not recommend serving sizes. The pyramid also has recommendations for daily physical activity and hydration.
According to the 1995 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, healthful diets contain the amounts of essential nutrients and energy needed to prevent nutritional deficiencies and excesses. Healthful diets also provide the right balance of carbohydrates, fat, and protein to reduce risks for chronic diseases, and they are obtained from a variety of foods that are available, affordable, and enjoyable.
The healthfulness of this pattern has been corroborated by epidemiological and experimental nutrition. See below for sources and references.