What are the 4 groups of food?

As the My Plate icon shows, the five food groups are fruits, vegetables, cereals, protein foods and dairy products. Fresh, seasonal fruits, frozen, canned, or dried fruits, and fruit juices qualify for this food group. Because fruits vary in content and amount of nutrients, consume a variety of fruits, such as apples, oranges, bananas, grapes, melons, berries, raisins, and 100 percent apple or orange juice to get the maximum benefits of nutrients and antioxidants found in fruits. Vegetables vary in color, and dark green varieties, such as spinach and broccoli, provide high amounts of key 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, pumpkins, 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 contained 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 every day, because whole grains retain the natural nutrients and fiber that are removed from refined grains. Enriched cereal products provide iron and B vitamins. Whole grain products include whole grains, whole wheat bread, oatmeal and brown rice. Refined and enriched grain products include white breads, white rice, enriched pasta, and crackers.

Choose low-fat or low-fat dairy products, such as milk, yogurt, frozen yogurt, natural cheeses, and soy beverages. According to 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 unsalted 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. A new guide published in 1916, Food for Young Children, by nutritionist Caroline Hunt, classified foods into milk and meat; cereals; vegetables and fruits; fats and fatty foods; and sugars and sugary foods. In 1917, How to Select Food promoted these five food groups to adults, and the guidelines remained in effect through the 1920s. In 1933, the USDA introduced food plans with four different cost levels in response to the Great Depression.

The introduction of the USDA Dietary Guide Pyramid in 1992 attempted to express the recommended portions of each food group, something that the previous guidelines did not. Within each group there were several representative food images, as well as symbols that represented the fat and sugar content of the food.

Pattie Polich
Pattie Polich

Certified tv lover. Passionate internetaholic. Passionate organizer. Twitter lover. Hipster-friendly creator. Extreme beer lover.

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