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Classification of Basic Food Groups

Updated on March 31, 2010


The key to good nutrition is a varied diet that includes every kind of nutrient. Nutritionists have grouped foods according to nutrient content to simplify the planning of a varied diet. The basic seven system of classification divides foods into seven groups.

Group I. Meat, poultry, fish, eggs, dried beans, peas, and nuts. This group is a chief source of protein and also provides vitamin B1, iron, phosphorous, and some starch. One to two daily servings are recommended.

Group II. Leafy, green and yellow vegetables. This group includes greens of all kinds, such as asparagus, brocolli, green peas, and string beans. It also includes carrots, squash, sweet potatoes, and beans. They supply large amount of vitamin A, phosphorous, carbon, calcium and iron. It also provide fiber, which helps regulates the intestine. One or more daily servings are recommended.

Group III. Citrus fruits, raw cabbage, salad greens and tomatoes. They are good sources of vitamin C and also vitamin A, calcium, and iron. One or more daily servings are recommended.

Group IV. Potatoes, other vegetables and non-citrus fruits. It includes all vegetables and fruits not found in group two or three. At least one potato a day is recommended for active people both children and adults. Potatoes are good sources of vitamin C if baked or boiled. This group supply carbohydrates, minerals and small amounts of most vitamins.

Group V. Bread, breakfast cereals and flour. This group also includes biscuits and crackers. These foods consist of whole grains or enriched flour. Enriching is important because milling removes much of the grain's outer coat, which is rich in vitamins and minerals.20 At least four daily servings are recommended.

Group VI. Butter and fortified margarine. Margarine must be fortified with vitamin A to equal the amount of this vitamin found in butter. These foods are chiefly energy giving and sources of vitamin A. Butter and margarine should be included in the daily diet, but no specific amount is recommended.

Group VII. Milk and milk products. A child needs three to four cups of milk daily and an adult should have at least two cups. Milk in any form, it may be fresh, dried, or made into cheese or ice cream, makes up this group. Milk and cheese are good sources of vitamin A, B2, calcium and proteins.


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