What are the 4 food groups?

As shown in the My Plate icon, the five food groups are fruits, vegetables, cereals, protein foods, and dairy products. You should eat at least five servings of fruits and vegetables a day. They contain important vitamins and minerals that help prevent diseases, as well as fiber that can lower cholesterol, keep the gut healthy, and aid digestion. Fruits and vegetables are low in fat, so they're great for bulking up meals and making you feel full without adding too many calories.

Fresh, frozen, canned, or dried fruits and vegetables count toward your five a day. Check the labels and choose options that are low in sugar and salt. Starchy foods such as potatoes, bread, rice, and pasta should account for around a third of what you eat. They are a good source of energy and essential fiber, calcium, iron and vitamins.

Gram for gram, starchy foods contain less than half the calories of fat. Try not to add extra fat to starchy foods by adding butter, oil, spreads, cheese, or jam; that only adds more calories. Dairy products and dairy alternatives are good sources of protein and vitamins. They also contain calcium, which helps keep our bones healthy and strong.

Semi-skimmed, skimmed milk with 1% fat contains less fat than whole milk, but it still provides proteins, vitamins and calcium. Dairy-free milk alternatives include soy milk and nut milks; if you choose dairy-free milk, opt for sugar-free varieties that have been fortified with calcium. Try using a strong-flavored cheese, such as mature cheddar; the strong flavor means you can use less without sacrificing flavor and therefore reducing fat. Also try grating cheese: a little goes a long way, so you'll use less.

Legumes are things like beans, peas, and lentils. They're a good source of fiber, vitamins, and minerals, and naturally, they're very low in fat. They count toward your five a day, but only as one serving, no matter how much you eat. Legumes are great for bulking up things like soups, stews, and meat sauces.

They add extra flavor and texture and allow you to use less meat. This reduces the amount of fat you consume and also means that your money will go further, since legumes are usually cheaper than meat. Other plant-based protein sources include tofu, bean curd, and mycoproteins and Quorn. They're full of protein, low in fat, and can be used in place of meat in most recipes.

Fish is a great source of protein, vitamins, and minerals. Try to eat at least two servings of fish a week, one of which should be rich in oil (one serving weighs about 140 g). Choose between fresh, frozen or canned fish. Oil-rich fish, such as salmon and mackerel, contain omega-3 fatty acids that keep our hearts healthy and are a good source of vitamins A and D.

Whitefish includes fish such as haddock, solla, coley, cod, skate, and hake. It is low in fat, contains important vitamins and minerals, and is a great alternative to meat. Choose fresh, frozen, or canned white fish, but remember that smoked fish or pickled canned fish can be high in salt, so always check the label before buying. It's best to steam, bake or grill fish.

Fried fish, especially battered fish, has more fat. Quiches and flans contain eggs, but they can be high in fat and salt, so eat them less often. Meat is a good source of protein, vitamins, and minerals. It is one of the main sources of vitamin B12, an important vitamin found only in animal foods, such as meat and milk.

It's important to know how to cook and handle meat safely. Some fats are healthier than others, but all fats have a lot of calories; limit them in your diet to help maintain a healthy weight. Water, low-fat milk, and sugar-free beverages, including tea and coffee, all count. Choose sugar-free options instead of sugary drinks.

It's important to eat a variety of fruits, vegetables, grains, protein foods, and fortified dairy products or soy alternatives. Most people have no difficulty including meat and protein in their diet because they are foods that are very filling (satiating). It's especially helpful when you're making changes to your diet and making sure you're eating a healthy balance of nutrient-rich foods. With so many foods available to choose from, it's important to make the right choices from each food group.

Foods and beverages that are high in fat, salt, or sugar include chocolate, cakes, cookies, savory snacks, and sugar-sweetened soft drinks. The Eatwell Guide shows the proportions in which different types of food are needed to have a healthy and balanced diet. .