The 4 Main Food Groups That Are Included In A Balanced Diet
Food is any material consumed to give nutrition to an organism living in it. Food is generally of animal, plant or floral origin, and generally contains vital nutrients, including proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, or iron. The food we eat is the product of millions of years of evolutionary development by our species. It is not only a vital nutrient for human beings but also a requirement for plants, animals and even fungi. Plants grow from seeds which are sown into the soil; animals get their food from other animals; and fungi obtain their food from other fungi.
Food is divided into three categories – macronutrients, carbohydrates, and fats. Macronutrients refer to those substances that maintain health. Carbohydrates make up most of the food that people need; fats are needed in order to supply energy to the body and keep the body running smoothly; vitamins are contained in many foods as antioxidants, which help fight off disease and are a major source of nutrition; and minerals are found in all food types except water and some forms of meat.
A well-balanced diet consists mainly of food that provides good sources of carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and fiber. The good sources of these substances are cereals, beans, green leafy vegetables, whole grain breads and pasta, nuts, legumes, rice and seeds. The carbohydrates come mainly from fruits, vegetables and legumes. The vitamins are available in whole grains and wheat berries and in small quantities in fruit juices and certain dairy products. The fatty acids come mainly from fish, olive oil, nuts, olives and walnuts. The best diet is one in which all of the main food groups are consumed in the right proportions and with the right amounts of micronutrients.