What are the 4 types of food groups?

There are 4 main food groups to eat every day to get the nutrients you need for your physical and mental health. These are vegetables and fruits, grain-based foods, milk and dairy products, and protein foods. Fresh seasonal fruits, frozen, canned, or dried fruits, and fruit juices qualify for this food group. Because fruits vary in nutrient content and quantity, eat a variety of fruits, such as apples, oranges, bananas, grapes, melons, berries, raisins, and 100 percent apple or orange juice to get the most out of the nutrients and antioxidants found in fruits.

Vegetables vary in color, and dark green varieties, such as spinach and broccoli, provide large amounts of important nutrients, including vitamins A, C and B. They also contain the micronutrient iron and the macronutrient calcium. Yellow, orange and red vegetables, such as carrots, pumpkin, sweet potatoes and tomatoes, are good sources of vitamin A, which benefits eye health, and vitamin C, which fights infections. According to the University of Kentucky School of Agriculture, starchy vegetables, such as potatoes and corn, contain B vitamins for healthy skin.

Because of the wide variety of nutrients in vegetables, the Dietary Guidelines provide weekly recommendations for different colors and types. Dietary guidelines recommend that whole grains make up half of the grains you eat daily, since whole grains retain the natural nutrients and fiber that are removed from refined grains. Fortified cereal products add iron and B vitamins. Whole grain products include whole grains, whole wheat bread, oats and brown rice.

Refined and enriched grain products include white breads, white rice, enriched pasta and crackers. Choose fat-free or low-fat dairy products, such as milk, yogurt, frozen yogurt, natural cheeses, and soy beverages. According to the Dietary Guidelines, cream, sour cream and cream cheese are excluded from this food group because of their low calcium content. Protein foods include meat, poultry, seafood, eggs, nuts, and seeds.

Low-fat meat and poultry and salt-free nuts are healthier food options. Although they are vegetables, beans and peas are included in the protein group, because according to ChooseMyPlate, gov, their nutrient content (protein, iron and zinc) is similar to that of animal foods. It is important to consume the recommended amount from each food group without exceeding the recommended daily calories. It's especially useful for making changes to your diet and making sure you eat a healthy balance of nutrient-rich foods.

Try to minimize foods such as butter, margarine, cooking oils, and salad dressings and save chocolate, chips, sugary soft drinks, candy, jam, cream, pastries, pudding, cookies, and pastries for an occasional treat. It is important not to consume too many foods from this group, since they provide us with a lot of energy from calories, but not a lot of nutrition. Rather than simply promoting a “balanced” diet after food was abundant in the United States, the four food groups also provided a way to guarantee different types of food industrialists a seat at the table or, as expected, a seat at each table. Equivalents in cups and equivalents in ounces help you understand the different amounts of food in each food group that you should eat.

The United States Department of Agriculture initially grouped foods according to their nutritional attributes in 1916. Between 1985 and 2000, U.S. food producers increased their production by 700 calories per person, up to 3,900 calories per person. The four food groups (milk, meat, vegetables and fruits, and breads and cereals) appeared on many posters and images that were displayed in coffee shops and health classes across the country, and those food groups put an almost scientific stamp approved by the government on American food.

The notion of food groups to guide good nutrition dates back to 1917 and, as expected, came from the United States Department of Agriculture, and not from the Department of Health and Human Services, or even from the National Institutes of Health. By stating the number of daily servings of each food that Americans should eat, the USDA made it clear that starch was king: four servings a day meant one serving at each meal plus a starchy snack. Any food made with wheat, rye, rice, oats, cornmeal, barley, or other cereals is a grain-based product. .


Ismael Slagter
Ismael Slagter

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