Normally a food group consists of foods that share the same properties of nutrition and biological categorization. There are thousands of healthy food guides available suggesting to avail every food group in daily life meals for a healthy diet. A balanced and healthy diet contains something from each food group every day. Some food groups need more servings than others. For example, need more servings of vegetables, as compared to dairy products. Oils and sweets are also part of the Food Pyramid but should be eaten with caution. Portions of the recommendations depend on several factors. Age and level of activity should be taken into account in determining your personal daily food pyramid.
Better nutrition habits can help you to be healthy. The American Heart Association recommends a balanced daily diet of all basic food groups. There are different numbers of food groups in different parts of the world. Mainly there are 5 major food groups, as described below;
Colorful and sweet food from nature contains important minerals, potassium, vitamin A & C, and carbohydrates mostly in the form of sugar. Fruits are full of vitamins and minerals. We should have from 2 to 4 servings of fruit a day. If you decide to fruit juices whether it is 100% juice without added sugar. Choose whole fruits and have the additional benefit of fiber. Eating sliced or raw fruit is a better option instead of juices as it has more fiber in it. Eating apples, bananas, berries, and other fresh fruits in the daily routine is very good for health.
Full of magnesium, iron, folate, and vitamin A & C, vegetables are high in fiber. Available in different biological groups. Vegetable has many varieties in terms of taste, nutrition, and shape. Eat a healthy, balanced diet, you must have 3 to 5 servings of vegetables a day. Vegetables are the main source of vitamins and minerals, and we can not live without them. Fresh vegetables are the best choice, but cooked vegetables and vegetable juices are also acceptable. Try to eat lots of vegetables each day, including many different colors. They say, “Eat the Rainbow”, by adding different colors of vegetables to the daily diet, especially, dark orange and dark green.
The recommended number of servings of grains from 6 to 11 per day, depending on age and activity. Grain bread, rice, pasta, and cereals. Choose whole grains and avoid white grains such as white bread and white rice. Check the labels of foods that contain” whole wheat “on the pasta and bread.
Protein Foods, Meat, and alternatives
Meat and meat alternatives are important sources of protein and vitamins and other minerals. Foods that fall into this category include fish, poultry, beef, pork, eggs, beans, nuts, and tofu. It is recommended that you have 2 to 3 servings of meat or meat alternatives per day. Choose leaner meat, because they have less animal fat.
The dairy group consists of milk, yogurt, and cheese. It is recommended that you have 2 to 3 servings of dairy products a day. Choose low-fat options where possible. Milk and milk products are an important source of calcium and other vitamins. Dairy foods are considered healthy foods if served properly in daily diet.
Good fat sources are fish, nuts, and vegetable oils. Keep in mind that vegetable fats (vegetable oils and nuts) contain cholesterol. Limit solid fats like butter, stick margarine, shortening, and animal fats.
According to a survey, a human body’s daily needs for calories are listed as below;
- Male:- 22,000 – 24,000 Calories/Day
- Female:- 1,800 – 2,000 Calories/Day
- Boy (9-13):- 1,800 Calories/Day
- Girl (9-13):- 1,600 Calories/Day
- Extra active Children need even more than 400 Calories/Day.
Our body constantly needs vitamins, carbohydrates, and proteins. But no single food can give anybody all the needed nutrition for the body. We divide healthy foods into 5 major food groups. It is very important to know the value of each food group and their ingredients in our daily life for a healthy and happy lifestyle. Choosing a variety of foods from all the food groups will give a better proportion of nutrition to your body.