Table 1.

Classification of food items into food groups for creation of the plant-based diet scoresa

Food GroupsFood ItemsOverall Plant-Based Diet IndexHealthy Plant-Based Diet IndexLess Healthy Plant-Based Diet IndexProvegetarian Diet Index
Plant foodsb
 Whole grainsCooked cereals such as oatmeal, grits, cream of wheat, dark or whole grain breadPositivePositiveReversePositivec
 FruitsApples, pears, oranges, peaches, apricots, plums, bananas, other fruitsPositivePositiveReversePositive
 VegetablesBroccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, carrots, corn, spinach, collards, or other greens, dark yellow, winter squash such as acorn, butternut, sweet potatoes, tomatoesPositivePositiveReversePositive
 NutsPeanut butter, nutsPositivePositiveReversePositive
 LegumesString beans, green beans, baked beans or lentils (pinto, blackeye, baked beans), peas or lima beansPositivePositiveReversePositive
 Tea and coffeeCoffee, tea (iced or hot)PositivePositiveReverseNot scored
 Refined grainsBiscuits, cornbread, cold breakfast cereal, white bread, pasta, ricePositiveReversePositivePositivec
 PotatoesPotato or corn chips, French-fried potatoes, mashed potatoesPositiveReversePositivePositive
 Fruit juicesOrange juice, grapefruit juicePositiveReversePositiveNot scored
 Sugar-sweetened and artificially sweetened beveragesLow-calorie soft drinks (any diet Coke, diet Pepsi), Regular soft drinks (Coke, Pepsi, 7-Up, ginger ale), fruit-flavored punch or noncarbonated beveragesPositiveReversePositiveNot scored
 Sweets and dessertsChocolate bars or pieces, candy without chocolate, pie homemade from scratch, pie (ready-made or from mix), donuts, cake or brownie, cookies, Danish pastry, sweet roll, coffee cake, croissantPositiveReversePositiveNot scored
Animal foods
 Animal fatButter added to food or bread, butter used for cookingReverseReverseReverseReverse
 DairySkim or low-fat milk, whole milk, yogurt, ice cream, cottage cheese or ricotta cheese, other cheeseReverseReverseReverseReverse
 EggsEggsReverseReverseReverseReverse
 Fish or seafoodCanned tuna; dark meat fish, such as salmon, mackerel, swordfish, sardines, bluefish; other fish, such as cod, perch, catfish, shrimp, lobster, scallopsReverseReverseReverseReverse
 MeatChicken or turkey without skin, chicken or turkey with skin, hamburgers, hot dogs, processed meats (sausage, salami, bologna), bacon, beef, pork, or lamb as a sandwich or mixed dish, beef, pork, or lamb as a main dish, steak, roast, ham, liverReverseReverseReverseReverse
 Miscellaneous animal foodsHome-fried food, such as any meats, poultry, fish, shrimpReverseReverseReverseNot scored
  • a Food categorization scheme is similar to previous publications (7,8,22). Positive indicates that higher consumption of this food group received higher scores. Reverse indicates that higher consumption of this food group received lower scores.

  • b In the overall, healthy, and less healthy plant-based diet indices, whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes, tea, and coffee were considered “healthy plant foods.” Refined grains, potatoes, fruit juices, sugar-sweetened and artificially sweetened beverages, and sweets and desserts were considered “less healthy plant foods.” The provegetarian diet index did not differentiate plant foods as healthy or less healthy.

  • c In the provegetarian diet index, consumption of whole grains and refined grains was aggregated as the “grains” food group.