Dietary patterns that emphasize the consumption of vegetables, fruits, whole grains and legumes, are recognized for their health-promoting properties (1). Such diets encompass vegetarian and vegan types, while extending to diverse, plant-predominant dietary patterns (2). Such diets are typically rich in fiber, antioxidants and phytochemicals, but much lower in saturated fat, added sugar, animal protein, and sodium compared to more conventional dietary patterns (3). The current 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend a vegetarian dietary pattern as one of three healthy dietary patterns, along with the Mediterranean and healthy U.S. style dietary patterns (4). Minimally processed plant foods are emphasized in all three, while only the vegetarian diet excludes meat entirely.
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