5 Food Groups - Eat to keep yourself healthy and fit.

Basic 5 Food Groups which are shown in the food group chart are explained here for a healthy and fit life. It is necessary to understand the requirement of each food group so can we make our diet nutritious.

Food Group

The various kind of food that we consume forms the part of 5 Basic Food Groups.  These are:
  • Grains and Cereals - bread, rice, cereal,  pasta, etc.
  • Different fruit and vegetables.
  • Dairy products such as cheese, milk, curd, butter, etc.
  • Proteins such as meat, fish, beans, eggs, and nuts etc.
  • Fats and oils 

5 Food Groups are structured as follows:

Fat and Oils
Fruit and Vegetables
Grains and Cereals

This diagram explains, how many different foods you need to eat to keep yourself healthy and fit. The grain and cereal food make the base of the Structure, so these should biggest part of your diet. As you move up on the Structure, it gets thinner, and the food groups’ higher-ups should form less proportion of your diet. Fat and oils should form the smallest proportion of your diet.

5 Food Groups - Grains and Cereals

Grain products (bread, rice, cereal, pasta, etc) are an essential part of your diet. These are fundamental sources that provide carbohydrate, like starch and fiber, along with vitamins and minerals.

Some persons thought that grain products (bread, rice, cereal, pasta, etc) are fattening. This is not so if you eat the whole meal or whole grain bread and brown rice. However, when you add fats like margarine, mayonnaise, cheese sauce, oil, or gravy to them, then you definitely raise the calorie level of the food.

Whole grain foods contain high fiber content and low starch in comparison to white grain foods.  Brown rice, oatmeal, corn tortillas, and whole wheat and whole grain bread are examples of whole grain food.

This group is placed at the bottom of the Structure, which means this group makes up the biggest part of your food you eat.

5 Food Groups - Fruit and Vegetables

Vegetables are important sources of vitamins and minerals. These are low in calories and fat. Fat and calories can be added to the vegetables while cooking. Adding fat, oil, margarine, or lard while cooking vegetables means adding fat and calories. When you buy frozen vegetables with sauces, then you may also add fat and calories, particularly if the sauces are oily, cheesy or creamy.  

Frozen vegetables contain the nutrients in low proportion in comparison to fresh vegetables. These vegetables may also contain extra sugar or salt or both, which adds flavor but with extra sodium to your diet. When you buy tinned vegetables, always read the label and prefer vegetables with no added salt.

Fruits too are important sources of different vitamins, minerals, and carbohydrates, like fiber and sugar. Fruit and fruit juices are good sources of water. Fruits are low in calories and sweet when ripe. Whole fruit like apple and grape contains more fiber than fruit juices and sauces like applesauce and grape juice. Having fresh fruit is better than having fruit juices because some time fruit juices packet labeled as “no added sugar” but despite these contain sugar and/or salt.

Dried fruits like figs, prunes, and raisins are also good sources of vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Tinned fruit syrups, such as; tinned peaches usually contain a lot of added sugar. These contain high calories than fresh fruits. When buying tinned fruits, prefer juices instead of syrups

The fruit and vegetable group is towards the bottom of the Structure, which means you will consume them a lot to fulfill the demands of nutrients of your body.

5 Food Groups - Dairy

Dairy products are important sources of vitamins and minerals in general and calcium in particular. Calcium is a bone-building mineral, which is the prime requirement of our body. It is difficult to fulfill the demand of calcium of our body, without adding dairy products to our diet. Some persons have problems in digesting milk and different milk products because of lactose (a kind of sugar) in milk. These people are lactose intolerant. For such people, a number of lactose – free products are available in the shops and stores.

Some dairy products are in fat like cheese, ice cream, and whole milk and food made of whole milk. To lessen the fat in your diet, you have to choose low fat or skimmed milk product, like low-fat cheese, low-fat yogurt and skim milk.

This food group is placed high up in the food Structure. It means these foods are necessary for good health but you need them in lower proportion to make a substitute for your diet. 

5 Food Groups - Protein

Proteins are important sources of vitamins, minerals, and the protein itself. Meat and meat products are generally high in fat. You can minimize the quantity of extra fat. How? For example, you can choose leaner cuts like chuck, top round and a bottom round of beef, pork loin or lamb shank. You can trim the fat from meat before cooking. You can take the skin of a chicken before you eat or grill the meat instead of frying in oil. Many tinned types of meat like hot dogs, sausages, bacon, and ham etc contain high fat and sodium. Eat these less frequently and that too in low quantity.

Eggs are good sources of iron and proteins. Most of the fat in eggs is contained in the yolk. While using eggs, just use egg whites, instead of the whole egg. This will reduce the fat quantity in your diet. 

Plant foods are cheap sources of protein, for example; lentils, black-eyed peas, chickpeas, and other beans and peas. Particularly, beans are low in fat and high in fiber. Nut and nut butter are good sources of proteins and iron but high in fat than other plant foods.

This food group is higher up on the food Structure. These foods are important for good health and you should eat these in smaller quantities. 

5 Food Groups - Fat and Oils

Our bodies produce some imperative materials out of fats and also use fat to stock up and move different vitamins around our bodies. Fats also help in the metabolism of sugar and insulin and thus contribute towards long term weight loss and weight maintenance. Thus you may conclude that fat is an essential part of a healthy diet. Fat makes food tastier and better. But not all fats are good. Fats, oils and sugar give us calories. These are great sources of energy. 

Fats and oils like salad dressing, for example, mayonnaise, margarine, and lard etc are high in fat content and thus high in calories. Sweets such as candy, fizzy drinks, jams, syrups, etc are made mainly of sugars. Almost all of these mentioned do not contain any vitamins or mineral and so-called empty calorie or calorie diabolic foods.

Fats, oils, and sugars are not bad in moderation if we consume them sensibly with other foods. Consuming much fat, oil or sweets can cause severe health and weight problem.

These 5 food groups are placed at the top of the food Structure. You should take these in very less quantity with other foods to make your diet completely nutritious and perfect.

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