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Vegetarian Food Pyramid: Oh Cleopatra, she 'knows'

Posted Feb 26 2010 5:59am


Introduction
The first thing that I remembered when the words ‘pyramid’ and ‘food’ came to mind was Asterix and Cleopatra, the sixth book in the Asterix comic book series which hinges on the wager (bet, if you will) between Julius Caesar and Cleopatra on building a great palace in Alexandria within three months, after Caesar demeans the contribution made by the Egyptian people to civilization.

However, there’s no doubt that in the history books, the Egyptians apart from being known for their pyramids, were known to be at the forefront of progress in almost every field known to mankind during their heyday.

Built as tombs for the Pharaohs, there are 188 identified pyramids as of November 2008. Since the pyramid tapers as it is built from the bottom to top, it is a structure of great stability as the weight distribution is the largest at the bottom and decreases as we move upwards.

And somehow this principle has been replicated across the food pyramid (for both vegetarians and non-vegetarians) with the foods that should be eaten most generously at the bottom, and foods that should be eaten with the zealously miserly spirit right at the top. It is ironic that the concept of ‘weight’ is common to both these objects of great wisdom and knowledge in their right, although used in different contexts.

Vegetarian Food Pyramid
The vegetarian food pyramid has only one difference from its far more liberal (and dare I say, appealing) cousin known as the food pyramid, as it omits the consumption of meat, fish and poultry. As absurd as that might sound ever since God gave man (through Adam) the sole right to kill and eat the beasts who roamed the earth so that he might be fruitful and multiply. Yes, we (the fruit of his loins) are forced to ‘eat grass’ in order to stay alive!

But I digress…

The vegetarian food pyramid is divided into six parts such as:

1) whole grains

2) vegetables

3) fruits

4) legumes, nuts and seeds

5) dairy

6) vegetable fats and oils, sweets and salt

Now, as you would have noticed that I’ve written it in the order of the amount of servings that are allowed daily, with whole grain type being the food that you should help yourself to most generously while sweets and oils should be consumed in moderation.

Whether you choose to be a vegan because of your religious beliefs, an animal lover or just for personal health (thanks to the calorie loaded preparations of meat that you find in restaurants these days), just remember to include calcium-rich and Vitamin B12 foods in your diet.

No matter what people say, based on their biased opinions, about the horrors of veganhood, the truth remains that one will surely see an overall improvement health-wise, while research continues to validate the fact that being on a vegan diet lowers the risk of chronic disease, which translates to a significant reduction in medical insurance. But of course, this is only a conclusion based on fact.

In Closing
However, if the idea of eating vegetarian food repulses you… well, that’s ok. We’re all made differently… and so, to each his own! Of course, the food pyramid with the meat, poultry and fish options is there too.

And on that note,  I can't help but imagine what would've happened if  Obelix drank the magic potion…

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