For a healthy and correct diet it is therefore necessary to know a little better everything that arrives on our table, in particular which are the food groups.
What are the food groups?
Fruits and vegetables
It generally provides more calories than vegetables because it contains more sugar. The fruit can be divided into fleshy or fresh, such as pears and apples, dried or oily, such as walnuts and olives and floury such as chestnuts. The main nutrients in fruit are vitamins and minerals, followed by a considerable amount of water and carbohydrates. Some types of dried fruit are composed of a large proportion of fat and have a high content of sugars, carbohydrates, proteins, fibres, minerals, iron, calcium, phosphorus and vitamins E, A and B2.
Fresh fruit can be divided into three groups according to their content of simple carbohydrates and, consequently, the calories supplied to the body:
- Low sugar content: pear, orange, grapefruit, apricot, plum, peach, melon, watermelon and strawberries;
- Medium sugar content: apple, kiwi, cherry, tangerine, pineapple;
- High sugar content: banana, fig, persimmon, grape, clementine.
Many of these contain, in addition to sugar, a large quantity of water, vitamins and minerals. Two portions of fresh fruit per day (a total of 300-400 gr per day) are recommended, preferably between meals and not immediately after. Dried fruit, on the other hand, should be eaten in moderation because of its fatty nature. Floury fruit should be added in place of dough or bread.
This food group is characterized by a high concentration of water, a low sugar content, an even lower content of lipids and proteins but a high level of potassium, sodium, calcium, iron, magnesium, folic acid (useful for red blood cells), vitamin E (antioxidant), K (useful for bones), A (skin and eyes) and C (which helps the absorption of iron). The fibre content of vegetables is extremely high which, in a balanced diet, helps to reduce the level of cholesterol in the blood and the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
Meat and eggs
Fish fat is better known as 'good' because it contains a higher percentage of unsaturated fatty acids than meat fat. Carbohydrates are only present in small traces. Fish is also high in phosphorus, calcium and iodine as well as B vitamins and vitamins. A portion of fish (100g) is recommended 3-4 times a week.