|Interested in healthy eating and having a balanced diet? If so, you'll want to learn more about food groups.
This section helps explain the food groups based on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010 and provides information about food plans. There are five groups consisting of vegetables, fruits, grains, dairy and a protein group which includes meat, poultry, fish and nuts.
What are the basic food groups?
|Vegetables The vegetables you eat may be fresh, frozen, canned or dried and may be eaten whole, cut-up, or mashed. You should eat a variety of dark green, red and orange vegetables, as well as beans and peas (which are also considered part of the protein group). Examples include broccoli, carrots, collard greens, split peas, green beans, black-eyed peas, kale, lima beans, potatoes, spinach, squash, sweet potatoes, tomatoes and kidney beans. Any vegetable or 100% vegetable juice counts in this group.
||Fruits The fruits you eat may be fresh, canned, frozen or dried and may be eaten whole, cut-up, or pureed. Examples include apples, apricots, bananas, dates, grapes, oranges, grapefruit, mangoes, melons, peaches, pineapples, raisins, strawberries, tangerines, and 100% fruit juice.
|Grains There are two types of grains – whole grains and refined grains. At least half of the grains you eat should be whole grains, such as whole-wheat bread, whole-grain cereals and crackers, oatmeal, bulgur, and brown rice. Refined grains include white bread, white rice, enriched pasta, flour tortillas, and most noodles.
||Dairy Most of your choices should be fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products, but all milks and calcium-containing milk products count in this category. Examples include milk, cheeses, and yogurt as well as lactose-free and lactose-reduced products and soy beverages. Foods that are made from milk but have little or no calcium are not included, such as butter, cream, sour cream, and cream cheese.