Guideline 2 recommends we enjoy a wide variety of nutritious foods from the five groups every day
The key to eating well is to enjoy a variety of nutritious foods from each of the Five Food Groups.
These Five Food Groups make up the European Guide to Healthy Eating (see right).
Foods are grouped together because they provide similar amounts of the key nutrients of that food group. For example, the key nutrients of the milk, yogurt, cheese and alternatives food group include calcium and protein, while the fruit group is a good source of vitamins, especially vitamin C.
To meet the nutrient requirements essential for good health, you need to eat a variety from each of the five food groups daily, in the recommended amounts. It is not necessary to eat from each food group at every meal. In fact, in some instances, you only need to eat some of the foods in each food group a couple of times a week. Take a look at Guideline 2 and discover the wide variety of choices within the five groups.
It is also important to enjoy a variety of foods within each of the Five Food Groups because different foods vary in the amount of the key nutrients that they provide. For example, in the vegetables and legumes food group, orange vegetables such as carrots and pumpkins contain significantly more vitamin A than other vegetables such as white potatoes.
Let’s take a look at the Five Food Groups and discover the incredible variety and the abundance of choice there is when eating from these groups.
More information on the Five Food Groups:
- Vegetables and legumes/beans
- Grain (cereal) foods, mostly wholegrain and/or high cereal fibre varieties
- Lean meats and poultry, fish, eggs, tofu, nuts and seeds and legumes/beans
- Milk, yoghurt cheese and/or alternatives, mostly reduced fat