Food groups are one of the important factors that individuals who want to eat adequately, balanced, and healthily should pay attention to. Foods containing substances such as carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins, minerals, and water meet the body's energy needs while also providing various benefits. The foods and food groups we consume daily are divided into various categories according to their content and the benefits they provide to the body. You can find detailed information about the basic food groups in the continuation of our content.
What are the Basic Food Groups?
Healthy nutrition forms the basis of a healthy life. By including healthy foods in your daily diet plan, you can minimize the risk of many diseases. When creating a healthy nutrition plan, it is necessary to take advantage of the 4 basic food sources in a balanced way. By including basic food groups in the nutrition plan you create to live healthily, you can meet the energy needs of your body. At the same time, consuming these foods and food groups in a balanced way will also support the functioning of your immune system. Basic food groups are indispensable elements of a nutrition plan that increases the quality of life in many ways. The 4 basic food groups represented by the four-leaf clover figure can be listed as follows:
· Milk and dairy products
· Meat, eggs, legumes
· Bread and grains
· Vegetables and fruits
What are the Benefits of the Basic Food Groups?
The benefits of the basic food groups vary depending on their contents. Therefore, it is important to ensure variety in daily nutrition. How much to consume from each food group depends on physical characteristics and personal health status.
Milk and Dairy Products
Dairy products are one of the first basic food groups. Milk and dairy products are a source of important minerals such as protein, fat, vitamins, and calcium. In addition to milks of animal origin such as cow's milk and goat's milk, vegetable milks such as almond milk and soy milk are also found.
Cheese, kefir, yogurt, butter, cream, and other dairy products are foods that provide the nutritious content of milk to individuals. Milk and dairy products are effective in growth and tissue repair. These foods, which are also very useful for bones and teeth, should be consumed by healthy adult individuals daily with 2 servings. Children are recommended to consume 3-4 servings of milk and dairy products per day.
Meat, Eggs, and Legumes
Meat is a rich source of protein and contains fats and fatty acids, B vitamins, iron, and zinc. Legumes, on the other hand, are rich in protein and carbohydrates. This food group, which includes foods such as red meat, white meat, offal, fish, lentils, chickpeas, beans, nuts, peanuts, and walnuts, should be regularly consumed in meals. Adults are advised to consume 2-3 servings of these foods per day.
Bread and Grains
Starchy, fiber, vitamin, and mineral-rich cereal foods should be included in daily nutrition. Cereal foods containing fiber support the efficient functioning of the digestive system. However, individuals with celiac disease and gluten sensitivity should consume these foods carefully.
The bread and cereal group, which includes foods such as wheat, rye, corn, oatmeal, rice flour, and bulgur, is effective in meeting your daily energy needs. Therefore, a healthy individual should consume 7-8 servings of the cereal group per day.
Vegetables and Fruits
Fruits and vegetables have a very diverse content among food groups. These foods that provide many benefits to body health are very beneficial thanks to their folate, vitamins, calcium, magnesium, potassium, and fiber content.
It is highly beneficial to consume foods in this group daily that include vegetables and fruits. However, it is also very important to consume these foods in season. A healthy adult individual is recommended to consume an average of 5 servings of vegetables and fruits per day.