I think that the Oldways Vegetarian Diet Pyramid (shown on the Veggie Boards website https://www.veggieboards.com/index.ph...n-diet-pyramid
) is contributing to the "lack of calories" problem that is common among us low-fat, whole-food vegetarians and vegans. I suspect, based on reading hundreds of newbie veg questions on other forums, that this lack-of-calories problem (and the associated fatigue) is a principal reason why otherwise-determined vegetarians quit the diet.
The Oldways pyramid presents fruits and non-starchy vegetables as the most important parts of a veg diet. Yes, these foods are vitamin-packed. However, they are so low in calories, and so high in bulk, that it's really tough to get enough calories from a veg diet that is based on fruits and non-starchy vegetables.
Moderately-active men are advised to consume 2200-2800 calories per day. Moderately-active women are advised to consume 1800-2200 calories per day: http://www.webmd.com/diet/calories-chart
Fruits are low in calories. A large peach is only 68 calories http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/...-juices/1990/2
. A cup of oranges is only 85 calories http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/...-juices/1966/2
. That's why fruit-centered veg diets require enormous food intakes.
Non-starchy vegetables are extremely low in calories. One cup of raw spinach is only 7 calories. One cup of chopped carrots is only 52 calories. It would be almost impossible to satisfy your calorie requirements by eating non-starchy vegetables.
To get enough calories (without having to stuff ourselves to the point of discomfort), it's much easier if we vegetarians and vegans base our diets on beans and grains, with equal or smaller quantities of fruits and vegetables added. Beans and whole grains have approximately 200 calories per cup - about 2 to 3 times as many calories as fruit. Bean- and grain-centered veg diets are recommended by Mercy for Animals http://www.mercyforanimals.org/vsg.pdf
, Kaiser Permanente
, the United States Department of Agriculture http://www.choosemyplate.gov/healthy...egetarian.html
, and the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine: http://www.pcrm.org/health/diets/ppl...le-power-plate