Nutritional Guidelines

It’s easy to go meatless on Monday. In place of chicken, beef, or pork, just look for protein from beans, legumes, eggs, nuts and seeds instead.

Here are some general dietary benchmarks offered by the USDA:

  • Eat 2-3 servings of lean protein
  • Eat 4-5 servings of vegetables and 2-3 servings of fresh fruits
  • Eat 2-3 servings of low-fat dairy or calcium-enriched dairy alternatives
  • Choose whole grains like brown rice, oatmeal, quinoa or popcorn, instead of refined grains like white bread, pasta, crackers and sugary cereals
  • Limit added fats to 2-3 tablespoons
  • Limit sweets, sweetened beverages, fried foods, salty snacks and foods made with hydrogenated oils

And here are a few easy substitutions to consider before going meatless:

  • Instead of chicken soup ………………….. split pea or navy bean soup.
  • Instead of pasta with meat sauce ……… pasta with cannellini beans.
  • Instead of a hamburger …………………… a soy or veggie burger.
  • Instead of chopped bacon on a salad … chopped nuts or sunflower seeds.
  • Instead of a turkey sandwich …………… a peanut butter sandwich.
  • Instead of a chicken enchilada …………. a bean burrito.

Still not convinced? Click here for answers to the most common nutritional quandaries.


This material is provided for your information and is not intended as medical advice. Please work with your health professional to determine what is right for you. For specific guidelines based on your age, height and weight, visit mypyramid.gov.