Food Groups and Classification of Food Groups

 Dividing all foods in several groups or Any system of classification of good in groups according to source is Food groups. There are 11 food groups system.


It is easiest way and simplest way or planning a balanced diet . A food group consists of Number of food that have a common source , similar physiological functions and predominant Nutrients. Food groups varies from country to country depending upon various factors like availability, geography, eating habits e.t.c. In Nepal we use 11 food group system . They are :-

1. Cereal and cereal product

2. Pulse and legumes

3. Nuts and oils

4. Vegetables

5. Fruits 

6. Meat/Fish/poultry

7. Milk

8. Egg

9. Fats and oil

10. Sugar and confectionary

11. Spices


1. Cereal and cereal products ( energy giving) : 

The food included in this group are Rice , barley , Millet , Rye , wheat e.t.c . They are all all of plants origin and predominant Nutrients provided by these groups are carbohydrate (80%), protein (6-12%), vitamin B1 and Minerals such as calcium, phosphorus, Magnesium , sulphur. It's serving size is 30 gram and can be consumed 6-12 serving per day. Each serving provides 80-100 k.cal of energy.

2. Pulses and legumes ( Body building):

The food included in this groups are  black gram, Bengal gram , lentils , Horse gram, kidney beans and Mung e.t.c. The pre-dominant Nutrients provided by these groups are carbohydrate (55-66%) , protein (19-24%), vitamin B1, B2, B3 and Minerals such as Iron , calcium , phosphorus. However , the quality of protein is inferior because protein lacks some of essential amino acids. They also contains natural toxin that cause diarrhoea, indigestion. It's serving size is 25 grand and can be consumed 2-3 serving per day . Per serving provides 80-100 k.cal of energy

3. Nuts and oils ( body building) :-

The food included are cashewnut , peanut , wallnut , almonds e.t.c. The pre-dominant Nutrients provided by these groups are protein , carbohydrate,fat , vitamin B1 , B2 , b3 and vitamin E. They are rich in calcium and Iron . According to their Nutrients, they can be further grouped into 3 types ;

Those with high fat and oil content (50% fat) example : cashewnut and wallnut e.t.c

Those with high protein content (20-25% protein) example : almond , groundnuts e.t.c

Those with high carbohydrate content (50%carbohydrate) example: chestnut, wallnut and Hazelnut e.t.c

4. Vegetables ( protective and regulatory):-

Vegetables are of various type according to the part we consume . They are :

Root- potato , turnip

Leafy- spinach

Flowering - bell pepper, eggplant

Cole crops- brocolli , cauliflower

Bulb- onion , garlic

Cucurbit- lady finger , squash

The pre-dominant Nutrients provided by this group are 80-88% water , several vitamin such as A, vitamin K , vitamin B complex , Moreover, minerals like iron , calcium, potassium. It's serving size is 100 grams and can be consumed up to 3-4 serving per day and each serving provides 25-50 k.cal .

5. Fruits ( protective ) :-

The pre-dominant Nutrients are 80-90% water .  Fruits are not good source of protein. They are rich in vitamin c , vitamin B complex and vitamin A. Their serving size is 50-75 grams. Food included in this groups are apple , amala , oranges , guava , banana, avocado. They are also rich sources of calcium, phosphorus and potassium.

6. Milk and Milk product ( body building ) :-

Milk is a wholesome food as it contains water 90% and lactose 3-6% , carbohydrates, caesin ( milk protein) , fat , minerals and vitamins. The food included in this group are whole milk, skim milk, ghee , butter , cheese , yoghurt , paneer e.t.c

7. Sugar and confectionaries ( energy yielding) :-

This group includes table sugar , candies , toffies e.t.c. They are mostly obtained from plant sources like sugarcane , beet sugar e.t.c. The pre-dominant Nutrients is carbohydrate (99%), vitamin B complex in molasses and iron 

8. Spices :-

This group includes varieties of herbs and spices such as Rosemary, ginger , garlic , chillies, black pepper e.t.c. they are not important source of Nutrient but adds flavour to the food and calorific values to the food 

9. Meat/fish / poultry :- 

This food groups includes all the flesh food . The Nutrient Composition varies according to the age , sex, breed and species of meat. Meat comprises of 70-80% water , 19-22% protein , fats 40% , They are rich in vitamin B complex , iron , calcium and magnesium. Among flesh food, fish is condo superior because it contain poly unsaturated fatty acid , omega - 3 , fatty acid omega -6 , vitamin A , D and iodine . 

10. Egg :- 

Egg consists of two parts ; white ( albumin) and yellow (yolk). The pre-dominant Nutrients are water , protein , fat. Yolk of egg contains 250 gram cholesterol. It's serving size is 60-65 gram.

11. Fats and oils :- 

They are commonly known as lipids . They are obtained from 3 major sources - plant , animals and marine sources. They are concentrated source of energy as one gram of it yields 9 kilocalorie. They are also rich source of fat soluble vitamins (A,D,E,K).

Balanced diet is the diet containing all the nutrients for the proper functioning of a body. It prevents from malnutrition and make body fit and healthy. It is essential for all aged group to remain healthy and boost immunity power.(to be continue.......)


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