Foods from the basic food groups provide the nutrients essential for life and growth. These foods are also known as ‘everyday foods’. Each of the food groups provides a range of nutrients, and all have a role in helping the body function. In particular, vegetables, legumes and fruit protect against illness and are essential to a healthy diet.
The basic food groups are:
breads, cereals, rice, pasta, noodles and other grainsvegetables and legumesfruitmilk, yoghurt, cheese and/or alternativeslean meat, fish, poultry, eggs, nuts and legumes.
A balanced diet includes a variety of foods from each of the five food groups, and offers a range of different tastes and textures. It is important to choose most of the foods we eat each day from these food groups.
‘Sometimes foods’ on the other hand have little nutritional value and are not essential for good health.
Management from disease
Grains: Eating grains, especially whole grains, provides numerous vital health benefits. The fiber in whole grains helps provide a feeling of fullness without as many calories. Eating whole grains as part of a healthy diet may help:
reduce the risk of some chronic diseases.reduce blood cholesterol levels.lower the risk of heart disease, obesity, and type 2 diabetes.with weight loss and weight management.prevent constipation.
Protein: Meat, poultry, fish, beans and peas, eggs, nuts, and seeds supply many nutrients. These include protein, B vitamins (niacin, thiamin, riboflavin, and B6), vitamin E, iron, zinc, and magnesium.
Proteins function as building blocks for bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, and blood. They are also building blocks for enzymes, hormones, and vitamins.B vitamins found in this food group serve a variety of functions in the body. They help release energy, play a vital role in the function of the nervous system, aid in the formation of red blood cells, and help build tissues.
Iron is used to carry oxygen in the blood. Many teenage girls and women in their child-bearing years have iron-deficiency anemia. They should eat foods high in heme-iron (meats) or eat other non-heme iron containing foods along with a food rich in vitamin C, which can improve absorption of non-heme iron.Magnesium is used in building bones and in releasing energy from muscles.Zinc is necessary for biochemical reactions and helps the immune system function properly.EPA and DHA are omega-3 fatty acids found in varying amounts in seafood. Eating eight ounces per week of seafood may help reduce the risk for heart disease.
Fruits: Fruits are great sources of many vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that may help protect you from chronic diseases.
Vegetables: According to the CDC, “vegetables of different colors give your body a wide range of valuable nutrients, like fiber, folate, potassium, and vitamins A and C.”
Diets rich in dietary fiber have been shown to have a number of beneficial effects including decreased risk of coronary artery disease, Some examples include most beans, lentils, and artichokes.Healthful diets with adequate folate may reduce a woman’s risk of having a child with a brain or spinal cord defect. Some examples include black eyed peas, cooked spinach, great northern beans, and asparagus.Diets rich in potassium may help to maintain a healthy blood pressure. Some examples include sweet potatoes, tomatoes, beet greens, white potatoes, white beans, lima beans, and cooked greens.
Dairy: Dairy items have impressive levels of two things many of us need more of: calcium and protein. According to the CDC:
Intake of dairy products is linked to improved bone health, and may reduce the risk of osteoporosis.Intake of dairy products is also associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes, and with lower blood pressure in adults.Vitamin D functions in the body to maintain proper levels of calcium and phosphorous, thereby helping to build and maintain bones.
Milk and soy milk fortified with vitamin D are good sources of this nutrient. Other sources include vitamin D-fortified yogurt and vitamin D-fortified ready-to-eat.
Grain products are a staple food in most diets. In developing countries cereals make up a significant portion of the calorie and nutrient intake, compared to developing countries. Examples of cereal grains include; corn, rice, wheat oats, rye, barley, millet, and sorghum. Nutrients provided by grain products include carbohydrate, B vitamins (e.g., thiamin, riboflavin, niacin and folate), iron, zinc, magnesium and other components such as fibre. Whole grains are typically higher in vitamins, fibre, minerals and phytochemicals than refined grains.
Micronutrient deficiencies such as pellagra and beri beri occur primarily among poor populations usually in emergency situations where a single cereal grain is the main nutrient source for extended periods of time.
Pellagra, caused by niacin deficiency, typically occurs in very poor population groups or in emergency situations among refugees in Africa and Asia who rely on maize as a main staple. Niacin is present in maize but bound in a form that humans cannot utilize. The liver can synthesize niacin from tryptophan. However, tryptophan is present only in limited quantities in maize and this leads to niacin deficiency. Despite the fact that maize is a main staple among Native Americans, historically pellagra was not a problem in this population due to traditional treatment of maize with lime or wood ashes which liberates the bound niacin.
In populations relying primarily on milled or polished rice as a main staple, thiamine (vitamin B1) deficiency known as beri beri may occur. Similar to pellagra, beri beri usually occurs only in very poor population group, in emergency situations and/or among refugees . Through the milling process both the bran and germ layers are removed from the rice leaving only the endosperm that mainly consists of starch. Unlike brown rice, milled rice is less nutritious and contains less protein, fat, vitamins and minerals.
Vegetables and Fruit
Vegetables and fruit are an important source of vitamins, minerals and fibre. A diet rich in vegetables and fruit is important for good health and is associated with decreased risk of cardiovascular disease and certain types of cancer. Vegetables and fruit are typically low in fat and it is recommended that these foods make up the largest part of the diet.
Roots and tubers are a dietary staple and main source of energy for millions of people in developing countries around the world. Roots and tubers provide a variety of nutrients including carbohydrate, vitamins, minerals, fiber and important non-nutritive components such as phytochemicals.
Cassava is among the most widely produced crop in this group, which also includes yam, potatoes and a variety of aroids. Following maize and rice, cassava represent one of the most important dietary staples for people living in the tropics. This starchy, drought resistant crop grows well even in poor soil conditions and plays an important role in food security for millions of poor people globally.
It must be prepared carefully before consuming as it contains cyanogenic glycoside linamarin that can cause serious illness. The roots are traditionally ground, washed and dried to hydrolyze the major part of this toxin.
In the western world, potatoes represent the main tuber consumed. Potatoes are a good source of energy with calories mainly from starch. This tuber is a good source of B vitamins, vitamin C, potassium, iron, and fibre. In the Czech Republic and some other countries, potatoes represent a major source of dietary Vitamin C. During food preparation such as boiling, roasting, etc. some vitamin C is lost due to the heat sensitive nature of this vitamin. Potato chips do not contain vitamin C.
Sugar beet is a root crop, which is processed to sucrose (table sugar).
Similar to other root vegetables, turnips, carrots, beetroot, and parsnips have a high water content and contain both simple and complex carbohydrates. They are a poor source of protein, but also contain important micronutrients and non-nutritive components. The antioxidant, β – carotene, is found in deep yellow/orange vegetables and fruits and dark green leafy vegetables. β -carotene is readily converted to Vitamin A, which plays any important role normal growth and development, immune system function, and vision.
Leafy vegetables such as lettuce, kale, swiss chard, and spinach are loaded with vitamins, minerals and non nutritive components including phytochemicals, fiber and antioxidants. Due to their high water content leafy vegetables are relatively low in energy density. Leafy vegetables are a rich source of micronutrients, but food preparation methods such as boiling, freezing, canning and drying can lead to significant micronutrient losses.
Fruits are typically higher in natural sugar and water than vegetables, and are a good source of fiber. The calories in fruit mainly come from carbohydrate in the form of naturally occurring sugars such as sucrose, glucose and fructose. Fruits provide little or no protein and fat, with the exception of avocado which is rich in heart healthy polyunsaturated fat. Fruits, similar to vegetables, are an important source of micronutrient, especially Vitamin C. The micronutrient content of fruits can vary widely depending on season, processing, storage methods, etc.
Similar to deep yellow and orange vegetables, bright coloured fruits such as apricots, cantaloupes, papayas, mangoes, nectarines, and peaches are a good source of β carotene; a precursor of vitamin A.
As part of a balanced diet, fruits and vegetables play not only in preventing micronutrient deficiencies (such as scurvy), but also in preventing obesity and non-communicable chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer and diabetes. In 2002 the WHO estimated that low intake of vegetables and fruits contributes to 31% of ischaemic heart disease, 11% of stroke and 19% of gastrointestinal cancer worldwide.
Milk & Alternatives
Milk and alternatives include milk, fortified soy beverage, canned or evaporated milk, cheese, yogurt and powdered milk…
human diet is divided into five nutritional groups: proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, and minerals. These five groups include about 50 nutritional items that are necessary for good health and growth. Each of these items plays a vital role in the functioning of the human body. The amount of nutrients needed for good health varies from individual to individual. Age, gender, and overall health condition affect how much of these nutrients a person needs for good health.
Whenever a person does not get enough of an essential nutrient, they are at risk for a dietary deficiency disease. Most dietary deficiency diseases are caused by a lack of protein, vitamins, or minerals. Protein deficiency diseases occur when a person does not eat enough protein; these diseases are prevalent in developing countries where people are too poor to buy protein-rich foods or where such foods are hard to find. Generally speaking, vitamin and mineral deficiencies are due to diets that lack some of the nutrients found in fresh vegetables and fruit, as well as milk, cheese, or eggs. In some cases, genetic * disorders, metabolic * disorders, or illnesses that prevent the body from digesting or absorbing particular nutrients will cause the deficiencies