Food Groups, Balanced Diet, and Food Composition
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Food groups can be divided into six categories. Each food group is a prerequisite for the maintenance of vitality of health. Proteins of high biologic value are obtained from egg, fish, meat, poultry, milk, and milk products. Cereals, legumes, and pulses contain maximum amount of carbohydrate and dietary fibers and have low fat content. Vegetables including green leafy vegetables provide minerals, vitamins especially vitamin A, and less amount of fat. Fruits are rich sources of vitamins, containing low sodium and low fat. Balanced diet is one of the major determinants of health. It provides optimal energy and nutrition for optimal growth and development. Excess of any food group should be avoided. Dietary fibers, antioxidants, and foods of low glycemic index should be included. Balanced diet prevents age-related decline of physiological functions of the body, improves longevity and immunity, and slows the progression of degenerative diseases. While constructing a balanced diet, one should avoid excessive intake of sugar, sweet, chocolate, salt, saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol-rich food, and processed food.
KeywordsFood group Energy source Proteins of high biologic value Balanced diet Dietary fibers Antioxidants Low glycemic index foods
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