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Food Group Nutritional Information
Learn which Food Groups are the healthiest for you.
Food Group Nutrition Guide
Search for Nutritional Information by Food Group
- Baby Foods
- Baked Products
- Beef Products
- Breakfast Cereals
- Cereal Grains and Pasta
- Dairy and Egg Products
- Ethnic Foods
- Fast Foods
- Fats and Oils
- Finfish and Shellfish Products
- Fruits and Fruit Juices
- Lamb, Veal, and Game Products
Understanding and knowing the right amount of food to eat every day is essential to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. The American Food Guide Pyramid provided by the United States Department of Agriculture is a great base from which to form a daily nutritional plan.
Grains are composed of any foods made from wheat, oats, rice, barley, or cornmeal.
There are two subgroups of grains: whole grains and refined grains. Whole grains consist of the entire kernel, as seen in foods such as oatmeal or brown rice. Refined grains have been broken down to form a fine texture, as seen in foods such as white flour.
Grains tend to have a lot of carbohydrates which translates into a great source of energy. However, be cautioned that eating too many carbs can throw off your body's blood sugar level. The USDA suggests that at least half of the grains you eat should be whole grains.
Vegetables are parts of plants considered edible, and are savory but not sweet in terms of taste. MyPyramid divides the vegetable group into five subgroups: dark green vegetables, orange vegetables, dry beans and peas, starchy vegetables, and others.
Vegetables contain many of the necessary vitamins and minerals for a healthy diet.
The USDA recommends consuming at least 2-3 cups of vegetables daily.
Fruits are the sweet parts of plants that bear seeds and are a source of necessary natural sugars, fiber and vitamins. They can be eaten fresh, canned, frozen or dried. Be wary of processed fruits, as they can include added sugars and depleted nutrients.
It is recommended to eat 2-4 servings of fruit a day.
The dairy group consists of products made from the milk of mammals, most commonly cattle. Common products include milk, cheese, yogurt, and milk-based desserts such as ice cream.
Dairy is a great source of calcium, protein, phosphorous, vitamin A, and vitamin D.
The USDA suggests consuming products that are low-fat or fat-free. At least 3 cups of dairy are necessary on a daily basis.
The protein food group mainly consists of meat and beans. For most adults, meat is the primary source of protein, as well as iron, zinc, and vitamin B12.
Common protein subgroup are meats, poultry, eggs, dry beans and peas, fish, and nuts and seeds.
Those who do not consume meat products can find their protein in foods such as eggs, beans, and nuts. Soy products are also popular as a meat alternative.
The USDA recommends consuming about 5-6 ounces of protein daily.
The recommended amounts of food to consume as mentioned are merely suggestions made by the USDA. Everyone has their own optimal nutritional plan depending on their age, weight, physical activity, and other factors.
For more in-depth nutritional advice, check out MyPyramid.gov.