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ARS Home » Plains Area » Grand Forks, North Dakota » Grand Forks Human Nutrition Research Center » Healthy Body Weight Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #391154

Research Project: Dietary and Physical Activity Guidance for Weight Loss and Maintenance

Location: Healthy Body Weight Research

Title: Application of a vegan USDA food pattern model

item Hess, Julie
item Comeau, Madeline

Submitted to: Annual Meeting of the Institute of Food Technologists
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/7/2022
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary: See technical abstract.

Technical Abstract: Introduction: The 2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA) recommends a Healthy Vegetarian Dietary Pattern (HVDP) but does not provide guidance for how to adapt this pattern for Americans who avoid all animal-based foods (vegans). A recent study from our lab created a model of a vegan HVDP and found that there were minimal impacts on nutrient content. However, the food pattern model provides only recommendations for servings of food groups (versus individual foods), and unlike patterns in the DGA, does not have accompanying recommendations for how to implement it. Therefore, the objective of this study was to determine the feasibility of implementing the 2000 kcal vegan food pattern model by developing sample menus and evaluating them for nutrient adequacy and diet quality. Methods: To build a menu of commonly consumed foods, data from the food pattern modeling report of the 2020 DGA Scientific Advisory Committee was used to identify the top ten most frequently consumed foods from each food group (fruits, vegetables, protein, grains, dairy, fats and oils). Using this list of commonly consumed foods as a guide, we developed and implemented a search strategy for vegan recipes on the website and used these recipes to develop a 5-day sample menu. Then we analyzed these menus for nutrient content using FoodData Central and evaluated the diet quality of the sample menus using the Healthy Eating Index Score-2015 (HEI-2015). Results: Using the mean ratio method for scoring, the HEI-2015 score for 5 days of sample menus from the vegan model was 98.69. These sample menus did not achieve a perfect score of 100 due to amounts of sodium and refined grains that exceeded recommendations. Mean total energy was 1812 kcal, but totals did not include discretionary calories (250kcal for 2000kcal HVDP). Amounts of all macronutrients were within the Acceptable Macronutrient Distribution Ranges. Significance: The high HEI-2015 scores obtained by a 2000 kcal vegan HVDP sample menu developed using commonly consumed foods indicate that practical guidance can be developed for adults who choose not to consume animal products to follow nutritionally adequate dietary patterns with few changes to food choice.