What Are the 5 Food Groups and Why You Need Each of Them

The aim of each of us ought to be a balanced diet one that has all necessary nutrients for keeping the body able, healthy and fit. To devise a balanced diet, one should know what the food groups are, what they contain and why each of them is necessary for our health and wellbeing.5-food

The 5 food groups are:

  • Grains
  • Vegetables
  • Fruit
  • Meat, fish and beans (including poultry, eggs, nuts, and meat alternatives)
  • Milk (including milk products such as yoghurt, cheese etc)

These are the 5 basic food groupsand one’s diet should contain an optimal proportion of each of these on a daily basis.

Grains are an important source of vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates and fiber and usually form a significant portion of our diet. Bread, pasta, rice, flour and so on all fall in the grain food group. In a given day, your body should be having 6 to 11 servings of grain, and at least half of those should consist of whole grains.

Pick whole wheat bread, whole grain crackers or cereals, whole wheat pasta, popcorn, oatmeal and brown rice to get more whole grain in your diet.

Vegetables and fruit are a very important source of vitamins, minerals, fiber and all sorts of nutrients to keep us healthy and our immunity in tiptop shape. We should all be having at least 5 servings of fruit and veg, the more the proportion of this food group in your diet, the better it is for us. They are low in fat and high in fiber.

When it comes to fruit and veg, the more varied the better, look for fresh, local, seasonal produce and aim for a wide variety of colors.

Meat, fish and beans are a major source of protein for the body. If one is vegetarian, they should have a greater proportion of nuts, beans, peas and so on. Meat eaters should try and eat less of red meat, controlling portions as well as the number of times they eat meat in a week. Picking lean cuts, removing fat and skin; are important tips when eating meat.

Milk and milk products contain calcium protein, vitamins and riboflavin and can promote strong and healthy bones. Yoghurt with live bacteria also helps keep the digestive system in good working order. Low fat milk and products are the healthiest. Rice milk, soy milk, lactose free milk and so on, are useful alternatives for those who are don’t or cannot have dairy.