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Belgian Food Pyramid Puts Vegan Foods on Top

The European county's new dietary guidelines place plant-based foods at the top and animal-based foods at the bottom of its recent food pyramid.

The Flemish Institute for Healthy Living recently reinvented the traditional food pyramid to encourage Belgian citizens to consume more healthful foods. The new pyramid is inverted, with the top (and largest) sector dedicated to foods such as tofu, grains, fruit, and vegetables—a nutritional category the institute urges citizens to consume the most. Butter and steak appear at the bottom of the pyramid, while salami, bacon, and other processed foods are relegated to a circle outside of the pyramid in a red category created to discourage consumption. In regard to animal products, a representative of the institute told local media outlet Flanders Today that “we want to make it clear that we don’t need these products,” adding, “We don’t forbid them, but they should be rather an exception than rule.” In contrast, the United States’ Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee—a group of supposedly unbiased health professionals—removed the upper limit on recommended cholesterol in the newest Dietary Guidelines published in 2015, a move medical organization The Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine credited to intensive lobbying by the egg industry.

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