A Healthy Diet Is Emphasized By Eating From All Of The Major Food Groups






Choosing foods from all of the major food groups promotes a healthy diet and helps to make smarter food choices.

The groups are:

  1. Grains
  2. Vegetables
  3. Fruits
  4. Meats
  5. Dairy

MAJOR FOOD GROUP #1 - GRAINS

examples of whole grain food

GRAINS are an essential part of a healthy diet.

There are 2 different types of grains: whole grains and refined grains.

It’s estimated that 75 to 80 percent of us don’t eat any grains on a daily basis, much less than know the difference between the 2.

A few benefits of GRAINS are:

  • Weight loss - High fiber foods make you feel fuller for a longer period of time.
  • Blood sugar levels - Soluble fiber slows the absorportion of sugar in the body thereby reducing the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
  • Cholesterol - Soluble fiber may help lower cholesterol levels by lowering lipoprotein (the 'bad' cholesterol).

MAJOR FOOD GROUP #2 - VEGETABLES

list of vegetables

Yes, it's true that color has importance. Vegetables are categorized by nutrient content.

According to most health experts, the more brightly colored the vegetable is, the more protective the health benefits are.

A few benefits of VEGETABLES are:

  • Reduced risk of disease - Studies have shown that people who eat more vegetables as part of a healthy diet are more likely to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, and certain cancers.
  • Fresh is better - Whenever possible pick and buy fresh vegetables. They're usually at their best quality and price at the peak of their season.
  • Balanced nutrition - Most vegetables provide a variety of vitamins and minerals, are naturally low in fat and calories, and have no cholesterol.

MAJOR FOOD GROUP #3 - FRUITS

healthy fruit

Most FRUITS are naturally low in fat and calories, have no cholesterol, and little sodium.

A few benefits of FRUITS are:

  • Daily water intake - Fruits contain approximately 80% water. Eating a piece of fruit helps to meet the recommended 6 to 8 glasses of water a day.
  • Regulated bowel movements - Fruits are natures natural way to help with diarrhea, constipation, abdominal cramping, and can also help regulate bowel movement.
  • Relatively inexpensive - If you can substitute unhealthy snacks with a peice of fresh fruit you will see a noticable difference in your health and your pocket book.

MAJOR FOOD GROUP #4 - RED MEATS


RED MEATS are high in protein. Although high protein foods help to building strong muscle, be aware that most are also high in saturated fat.

A few benefits of RED MEATS are:

  • Good source of Iron - More iron can be found in lean cuts of red meats than most other foods. The added health benefit is that the body processes this iron easilier than iron found in other food sources.
  • Regulates cholesterol levels - Current research confirms that eating lean red meats lowers LDL levels ('bad cholesterol') and raises HDL cholesterol levels ('good cholesterol') just as effectively as eating lean poultry and fish.
  • Weight maintaince and loss - Lean red meat can help in weight loss and maintenance because they are more nutrient dense and satisfying than carbohydrate foods.

DAIRY

 

Most DAIRY products provide a good source of protein and are an excellent source of calcium. Unfortunately, they also contain alot of fat.

Skim or low-fat dairy products do not have as many saturated (bad) fats as whole milk and cheese product.

A few benefits of DAIRY are:

  • DAIRY products, such as low-fat cheeses, yogurt, and milk, are excellent sources of protein.
  • Cottage cheese and skim milk are 2 of the best sources of protein.

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