Vegetarian Diet Menu & Nutrition

Sample Menu

Here’s a day of meals for a vegetarian on a 2,000-calorie diet, adapted from a sample menu from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Breakfast

3 buckwheat pancakes with 2 tsp. soft margarine and drizzled with 3 tbsp. maple syrup

½ cup strawberries

¾ cup honeydew melon

½ cup fat-free milk

Lunch

Soup—

1¼ cup chunky vegetable soup with ½ cup white beans

2 oz. breadstick

8 baby carrots

1 cup fat-free milk

Dinner

Vegetable stir fry—

4 oz. firm tofu

¼ cup green and red bell peppers

½ cup bok choy

2 tbsp. vegetable oil

1 cup brown rice

1 cup lemon-flavored iced tea

Snacks

1 oz. sunflower seeds

1 large banana

1 cup low-fat fruit yogurt

Nutrition

Here’s a breakdown of the nutritional content of a day’s meals on a 2,000-calorie lacto-ovo vegetarian diet, alongside recommendations from the government’s 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

Because this diet is highly individualized, your actual intake will vary. Diet figures come from a committee’s report advising the government on its 2010 Dietary Guidelines. They show one way to eat a healthful vegetarian diet.

Lacto-Ovo Vegetarian Diet Recommended
Calories 2,005 Women Men
21-25: 2,000
26-50: 1,800
51+: 1,600
21-40: 2,400
41-60: 2,200
61+: 2,000
Total Fat 31% 20%-35%
     Saturated 8% Less than 10%
     Trans 0% N/A
Total Carbohydrates 57% 45%-65%
     Sugars
(total except as noted)
N/A N/A
     Fiber 39 g. Women Men
19-30: 28 g.
31-50: 25 g.
51+: 22 g.
19-30: 34 g.
31-50: 31 g.
51+: 28 g.
Protein 15% 10%-35%
Sodium 1,595 mg. Under 2,300 mg., under 1,500 mg. for 51+
Potassium 3,610 mg. At least 4,700 mg.
Calcium 1,345 mg. 19-50: 1,000 mg.
51+: 1,200 mg.
Vitamin B-12 4.9 mcg. 2.4 mcg.
Vitamin D 5.75 mcg. 15 mcg.

Recommendations apply to adults 19 and older except as noted. Recommended calories assume a sedentary lifestyle. g.: grams. mg.: milligrams. mcg.: micrograms. Because of rounding, protein, fat, and carbohydrate content may not add up to 100 percent.

Last updated by Kurtis Hiatt | December 13, 2013

Best Diets Rankings

Best Diets Overall
Diets ranked by across-the-board effectiveness.

Best Weight-Loss Diets
Diets ranked by effectiveness for both quick and lasting weight loss.

Best Diabetes Diets
Diets that can prevent diabetes or help diabetics.

Best Heart-Healthy Diets
Diets that lower cholesterol, blood pressure or triglycerides.

Best Diets for Healthy Eating
Diets ranked by how safe and nutritionally complete they are.

Best Commercial Diet Plans
Brand-name diets ranked by overall effectiveness.

Easiest Diets to Follow
Diets ranked on whether they're a snap to stick to.

Best Plant-Based Diets
Plant-based diets ranked by overall effectiveness.

Connect with U.S. News Health