By Fred Hardinge, DrPH, RD, FAND, Associate Director of Health Ministries for the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists
The introduction by the USDA of MyPlate in 2010 was a giant leap from the more complex pyramid to a simple plate for illustrating adequate dietary intake to the general population. MyPlate made it much easier for nutrition professionals to visually describe an adequate diet. In quick succession, Harvard University School of Public Health released their own take on the plate.
The General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists Nutrition Council (GCNC) has for a number of years published a vegetarian version of the USDA MyPyramid, adapting it as it was revised over its lifespan. The GCNC recognized the need for vegetarians to have a plate of their own, and consequently is pleased to introduce to the ICVN “My Vegetarian Plate.”
Nutrition professionals from dietetics, education, medicine, and public health adopted the proportions of the food groups, added stylized foods to their backgrounds, and kept all food groups the same as the USDA MyPlate, with the exceptions of the protein and dairy groups.
The proteins eliminate meat, fish, and poultry. The dairy group allows for dairy equivalents. This plate is designed specifically to provide a useful guide to those who choose to follow a vegetarian meal pattern. The number of servings of each food group is given for 1600, 2000, and 2400 Calorie diets, along with serving sizes of foods and the nutrients provided by each group.