Why do we need 5 basic food groups?

Eating a variety of foods from the 5 main food groups provides a variety of nutrients to the body, promotes good health and can help reduce the risk of diseases, in addition to maintaining an interesting diet with different flavors and textures. The key to a healthy diet is to enjoy a variety of nutritious foods from each of the 5 food groups. The Australian Healthy Eating Guide shows the 5 food groups on a plate, in the proportion in which you should eat them throughout the day. If you eat a variety of foods from each of these groups, your body will receive all the nutrients and vitamins it needs to function.

Gov offers numerous educational resources on nutrition based on food groups, such as tip sheets, videos, food group questionnaires, infographics, and more. The Eatwell Guide shows the proportions in which different types of food are needed to have a healthy and balanced diet. Try not to add more fat to starchy foods by adding butter, oil, spreads, cheese or jam; that just means adding more calories. The five food groups As shown on the My Plate icon, the five food groups are fruits, vegetables, cereals, protein foods and dairy products.

The equivalents of cups and ounces help you understand the different amounts of food in each food group you should eat. It's important to eat a variety of fruits, vegetables, grains, protein foods, and dairy products or fortified soy alternatives. It's one of the main sources of vitamin B12, an important vitamin found only in animal foods, such as meat and milk. The plant food group includes dark green vegetables, red and orange vegetables, starchy vegetables, and legumes (beans and peas).

Amounts by food group The USDA dietary patterns specify the objectives for each food group in cups (for fruits, vegetables, and dairy products) and in ounces (for protein foods and cereals).

Dietary guidelines

(PDF, 30.6 million) recommend eating 8 to 10 ounces per week of a variety of fish and seafood, not only because of protein, but also because seafood contains omega-3 fatty acids, such as EPA and DHA, which are good for the heart. Most sweetened beverages don't help meet food group goals and often contain a large amount of calories. As these foods do not provide any nutritional benefits, they should only be consumed from time to time and in limited quantities.