Five food groups that should be in the diet

Types of minerals

A balanced diet is essential for weight control. Proper nutrition is the key to health and the basis of a healthy lifestyle. Proper nutrition: where to start? The products necessary for a rational, healthy diet can be divided into five groups.

The first group of food products

It contains bread, grains and legumes, pasta and potatoes.


Preference should be given to rye black bread, which contains 5 times more fiber (fiber) than white bread made from wheat flour. Ballast substances are a kind of “broom” for the gastrointestinal tract, help to normalize the composition of the intestinal microflora and prevent the processes of fermentation and putrefaction in the intestine, ensure the formation of feces, prevent constipation, remove “bad” cholesterol from the body, reduce the likelihood of developing rectal cancer and other diseases.

Eating rye bread contains fewer calories than wheat bread, which is especially important for normalizing body weight. However, some people cannot eat rye bread due to disturbances in enzymatic activity in the gastrointestinal tract. It gives them heaviness and abdominal pain. In this case, we recommend tin bread made from a mixture of rye and wheat flour, which contains the same amount of fiber as plain rye bread, and which has almost the same calorie content.


Cereals in the human diet are divided into “white” (rice, wheat, semolina, millet) and “dark” (oatmeal, oatmeal, buckwheat, barley, pearl barley). The “dark” cereals contain 3 times more iron and B vitamins, 2.5-3 times more potassium and 5 times more magnesium than the “white” cereals.

Oatmeal contains 6 times more, and oatmeal – even 10 times more ballast substances than rice and semolina.

Most “white” and “dark” cereals contain almost the same amount of energy material – carbohydrates. However, the high ballast content in “dark” cereals contributes to a slower and “smoother” absorption of carbohydrates, which is especially important for people with overweight, obesity and diabetes. In addition, some “dark” cereals contain significantly less carbohydrates than “white” ones: oatmeal and flakes – 49%, millet – 65%, semolina – 67%, rice – 71%.

Cereals contain phospholipids – choline, lecithin, which contribute to the elimination of “bad” cholesterol from the body and prevent fatty degeneration of the liver. The largest amounts of lecithin, choline and linoleic acid are found in oats. There are also many phospholipids in buckwheat. Of the “white” cereals, most of them are found in millet.

Corn grits are lower in nutritional value than others: they are high in carbohydrates (75%), low in vitamins and minerals, and corn protein is deficient in composition and poorly absorbed. However, corn grits inhibits the processes of putrefaction and fermentation in the intestines, therefore it is recommended to periodically include it in the diet.

Pearl barley (uncoated barley) and barley (crushed barley grains) are used in the diet of obese people, as well as for constipation.

Rice is well digested, it contains 74% starch, 7% protein, little fiber, vitamins and minerals. Rice is not recommended for constipation.

Buckwheat contains 68-72% carbohydrates, 10-13% protein, 2% fat. It contains many B vitamins and phospholipids. Buckwheat is useful for people with obesity, diabetes, liver disease and atherosclerosis.

Semolina is made from wheat. It contains 70% carbohydrates, little fiber, vitamins and minerals. Semolina is easy to digest and quickly absorbed, so it is undesirable to use it if you are overweight.


The first group of food products also includes legumes (dry ripe peas, beans, lentils). Legumes nutrition contains 50-60% carbohydrates, many vitamins and minerals, especially B vitamins and potassium. The potassium content in legumes ranges from 870 to 1600 mg%, while in cereals it is 310-420 mg%. Due to their high protein content (20 to 35% dry weight), legumes are included in both the first and fourth food groups.

Pasta and potatoes

Pasta and potatoes contain less fiber than cereals, so carbohydrates from them are absorbed faster. However, the starch contained in these products, due to its complex structure, is absorbed more slowly than simple carbohydrates and disaccharides – glucose, fructose, sucrose, lactose. The consumption of potatoes and pasta should be limited in people who are prone to obesity. Eating pasta can be recommended for those who are underweight.

Potatoes with proper nutrition are also acceptable. In dietetics, it belongs to the same group as products made from cereal seeds, since it contains a lot of starch (15-18%). Potatoes contain a lot of potassium – 570 mg%. The potassium requirement in the normal diet is met mainly by potatoes.

Potatoes and bread are traditional staple foods in Russia. They provide the bulk of the calorie intake.

The second group of food products

This group includes carbohydrate-containing foods – vegetables, fruits and berries, as well as mushrooms.

Vegetables, fruits, berries

These products are indispensable components of the diet, as they contain substances involved in metabolic processes. These are vitamins, macro- and microelements, organic acids and a number of other biologically active substances that are extremely important for the vital activity of the body.

Most vegetables, fruits and berries do not contain fat and are poor in proteins (0.5-1.5%). Proteins in vegetables and fruits are deficient because they lack many of the essential amino acids and are poorly absorbed. The exceptions are green peas and green beans, which contain 4-5% of highly digestible and sufficiently complete protein.

The advantage of vegetables and fruits is their low energy value. This makes them a staple of the diet for overweight people. Vegetables provide 20-40 kcal per 100 g of product, most fruits and berries – 30-50 kcal per 100 g, only some vegetables and fruits – green peas, grapes, bananas – 70-90 kcal per 100 g.

Fruits, berries and vegetables are the main sources of useful “internal” mono- and disaccharides. Most vegetables contain from 3 to 5% carbohydrates, in green peas a little more – 13%, in beets and onions – 9% each, in kohlrabi cabbage – 7-8%, in carrots – 6-7%, in radishes – 6.5%.

Most fruits and berries contain 5 to 10% carbohydrates. In some fruits and berries, the carbohydrate content is higher: in fresh figs, pomegranates, pineapples – 11.5%, in persimmon – 13%, in grapes – 15%, in bananas – 21%.

Fruits, berries and vegetables are rich in ballast substances. There is a lot of fiber in legumes, beets, carrots, rutabagas, cabbage, dill, eggplants, bell peppers, and from fruits and berries – in quince, oranges and lemons, raspberries, strawberries, gooseberries. In some vegetables and fruits – watermelons, melons, pumpkins, zucchini, tomatoes, salad – there is little fiber.

The composition of fruits and vegetables contains very valuable substances – pectins. These are natural sorbents capable of removing external toxins and harmful products of its own metabolism from the body. Most of all pectins are found in vegetables, fruits and berries, from which you can cook jelly: apples, plums, black currants, peaches, strawberries, beets. Ripe vegetables and fruits contain more pectins than unripe ones.

Vegetables and fruits are 75-95% water, due to which they have a diuretic effect and promote the elimination of metabolic products from the body. Therefore, vegetables and fruits are beneficial for overweight and obesity.

Fruits, berries and some vegetables contain organic acids that stimulate digestion, have a beneficial effect on the intestinal microflora, participate in energy metabolism and normalize the metabolism of fats and cholesterol.

Vegetables, fruits and berries are the main sources of vitamins in a healthy diet. The vitamins contained in plants are in optimal physiological proportions with other vitamins and biologically active compounds – alkaloids, glycosides, bitterness, mucus, resins and other substances. Therefore, the vitamins of plant products cannot be completely replaced with synthetic vitamin preparations.


There are few nutrients in mushrooms, they are poorly absorbed and digested, so mushrooms are more a seasoning than a food. In their composition, mushrooms are close to vegetables, although they also have similarities with animal products. Fresh mushrooms contain about 90% water, 2-3% poorly digestible proteins, 1% fats, 2-4% carbohydrates, a lot of fiber, a small amount of vitamin C and B vitamins.

The third group of food products

The third group includes milk and dairy products. Cow’s milk contains 2.8% complete protein, 4.7% carbohydrates and 0.5 to 6% fat. Milk fat is easily digested, cholesterol is satisfactorily balanced with lecithin, which has a regulating effect on lipid metabolism. Milk sugar (lactose) belongs to the group of external sugars, is absorbed very quickly and, if consumed in excess of milk, can lead to an increase in body weight. Therefore, it is preferable to use fermented milk products in the diet. They are easier to digest, stimulate the secretion of digestive juices, prevent constipation, suppress putrefactive processes in the intestines, which is important when correcting body weight.

It is especially recommended to include in the diet fermented milk products with the addition of bifidobacteria and other microorganisms, which normalize the composition of the intestinal microflora and prevent the development of dysbiosis. A healthy intestinal microflora is the most important condition for the health of the whole organism.

It is useful to use cottage cheese and cheeses. Cottage cheese contains from 5 to 18% fat, 14-18% of highly digestible protein (casein), 112-166 mg% calcium and 100-220 mg% phosphorus, as well as B vitamins. Cottage cheese has a positive effect on fat metabolism.

Cheese is a concentrated dairy product. They contain 23-26% protein, 10-30% fat, easily digestible calcium (750 to 1500 mg%) and phosphorus (400 to 600 mg%). Pickled cheeses (feta cheese, suluguni, Adyghe) can also be included in the diet, however, there is a lot of salt in feta cheese and suluguni, which limits their use compared to Adyghe cheese, which has little salt. Processed cheeses are made from regular cheese and do not differ from it in composition. Cheese should be used with caution in a weight loss diet, as most of them, especially hard varieties, are high in fat.

Sour cream can contain from 10 to 30% fat. This should be taken into account when calculating the total fat content of the diet.

Fourth food group

The fourth group includes protein products: meat, fish, poultry, eggs, and legumes.

Proteins of animal food are distinguished by a high biological value not only due to the presence of all eight essential amino acids, but also due to their balance in composition, therefore, proper nutrition with meat and other products of this group is necessary. Proteins of animal products are absorbed by 90%. The fastest digesting proteins are dairy products, then fish, meat (beef faster than lamb).

In vegetable products, proteins are contained in small quantities, are inferior in composition and are absorbed by 60-80%. The exception is legumes, so they are included in both the first and fourth food groups.

Prolonged boiling, grinding, wiping improves the digestion and assimilation of proteins, especially vegetable proteins. However, heating can also negatively affect amino acids. So, the biological value of milk protein – casein – drops by 50% when heated to 200 ° C. With strong and prolonged heating of foods rich in protein and carbohydrates, the amount of “available” lysine (an essential amino acid) decreases, which is noted, for example, when cooking cereals.

Meat and meat products

Meat in the diet should not prevail over other protein products – dairy and fish. The fat content is high in meat: from 2 to 16% in beef, from 28 to 50% in pork, from 15 to 20% in lamb, from 8 to 20% in chicken, about 11% in rabbit meat.

Meat has a high energy value: 100 g of beef gives 170-220 kcal, lamb – 160-210 kcal, rabbit – 180 kcal, chicken – from 160 to 250 kcal, pork – 320-490 kcal. The consumption of fatty meats, especially pork and fatty chicken, can lead to obesity and impaired fat metabolism. Pork, even completely free of lard, contains 30-35% hidden fat. To reduce the calorie content and fat content of chicken and turkey, skin, subcutaneous and internal fat should be removed from it. Turkey meat is similar in quality to chicken meat and can be used in the diet. Meat of geese and ducks is not recommended due to its high (about 40%) fat content, poor digestibility and too high energy value.

The meat contains phospholipids: up to 80-90 mg% in beef, lamb and pork, up to 156 mg% in rabbit and chicken meat, up to 250 mg% in the liver. Phospholipids, especially lecithin, normalize fat metabolism, reduce the accumulation of fat in liver cells, and promote the transport of fat from adipose tissue into the blood.

It is undesirable to include sausages and sausages in the diet. This is especially true for smoked and semi-smoked sausages, as they contain 35-45% fat. Cooked sausages, sausages and wieners contain beef, pork, sugar, starch (except diabetic), milk protein and soy concentrate. They also have a lot of fat (from 17 to 39% with a caloric content of 165 to 400 kcal), therefore, it is unacceptable to use them in a diet with a tendency to overweight, and even more so, if necessary, limit the amount of fat in the diet.


Eggs contain about 13% protein and 12% fat. Egg whites are optimally balanced in terms of amino acid composition. Fats and proteins of eggs are easily digested and assimilated by 97-98%. The yolk contains many vitamins A, D, E and a small amount of B vitamins.

Eggs in the diet have highly digestible minerals, with the exception of iron. They contain a lot of cholesterol – 570%, but at the same time there are a lot of phospholipids – 3.4 mg%, mainly choline and lecithin. Especially there is a lot of cholesterol and phospholipids (mainly choline) in the yolk.

For a long time, it was believed that due to high cholesterol levels, eggs should be used to a limited extent in the diet, so an egg and proper nutrition are incompatible. However, according to the latest recommendations, eggs as a product containing a complete set of essential amino acids and low in calories and fats, and also taking into account the fact that the cholesterol in them is balanced with lecithin, can be used 2-3 pieces per week. It is advisable to use eggs not in “pure form” (raw, cooked whole, fried), but in dishes (in cheesecakes, omelets, salads).

A fish

Fish as a protein product has an undoubted advantage over meat and poultry. Fish contains complete proteins, including all 8 essential amino acids. The protein content is 10-13% in low-protein fish and 21-22% in high-protein fish. Due to the significantly higher amount of the essential amino acid methionine than in meat, fish consumption helps to reduce cholesterol levels and has a positive effect on fat metabolism.

According to the fat content, fish varieties are divided into lean – up to 3% fat, moderately fat – 38%, fatty – 8-20% and very fatty – 20-30% fat. Fish oil differs from animal oil by the predominance of unsaturated fatty acids over saturated ones. Fish oil contains essential omega-3 fatty acids, which have a positive effect on the metabolism of fats and cholesterol, activate the blood coagulation and anticoagulation systems, preventing the development of thrombosis, strokes, the progression of atherosclerosis, and normalize blood pressure. The calorie content of lean varieties of fish is 60-70 kcal, fatty – up to 260 kcal.

Fish is rich in fat-soluble vitamins A and D, and the content of B vitamins in it is not less than in meat products. Fish contains a lot of iron – 0.6-2.6 mg%, potassium – 250-400 μg%, iodine – 50 μg%, fluorine – 430 μg%, copper – from 60 to 240 μg%, phosphorus – from 150 to 400 mg%.

Compared to meat, fish, especially lean ones, contain less cholesterol, 5 times less extractive substances that contribute to the development of gout. With less connective tissue, fish is easier to digest than meat and better absorbed.

For all these reasons, it is advisable to include fish in your diet at least two to three times a week. Various methods of culinary processing can be used to prepare fish dishes, but it should be noted that smoked, dried and dried fish are difficult to digest and, moreover, causes an increase in appetite.

Legumes, nuts, seeds

The fourth group of food products also includes plant foods with a high protein content: legumes, nuts, seeds. Legumes contain a lot of protein (in peas it is 20%, in beans – 21%, in lentils – 24%, in soybeans – up to 35% of dry weight), carbohydrates (50-60%), as well as B vitamins, especially B1 , potassium and dietary fiber. The fat content ranges from 1.5% in lentils to 17% in soybeans. Proteins of legumes, especially soybeans, are close in composition to proteins of animal origin. Legumes, as high-protein foods, can sometimes replace meat. They contain both essential fatty acids – linoleic and linolenic, and the content of linoleic acid in soybeans is more than 8 times higher than its amount in cereals. Linoleic acid belongs to omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids, which help to activate the body’s defenses. Legumes are poorly digested and cause bloating. To avoid this, they should be cooked longer.

Walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds, peanuts and seeds contain 16-25% insufficient complete proteins, 50-65% fat, linoleic acid, 10-15% carbohydrates, a lot of magnesium, phosphorus, potassium. They are not a source of vitamin E and B vitamins. Nuts should be used in the diet in limited quantities due to their high fat content.

Fifth food group

This group includes fats and sweets. Foods in this group should be limited in diet, especially in overweight and obese people.


Vegetable oils are rich in essential fatty acids – linoleic and linolenic, which must be supplied with food. However, an excess of any fat increases the load on the mechanisms of fat metabolism and can lead to obesity. The fat content of vegetable oil is 99%.

Ghee and cooking fats are also almost 100% fat, they practically do not contain vitamins and other biologically active substances. There are significantly more saturated fatty acids in rendered animal fats than unsaturated ones. Using them in a rational diet is not recommended.

The composition of mayonnaise contains a lot of fat (36-67%), egg powder, milk powder, sugar (1-5%), mustard and vinegar. The use of mayonnaise is undesirable as it contains a lot of fat. According to the apt expression of the American nutritionist Shelton, mayonnaise is “a typical dietary nasty”.

In an overweight diet, it is recommended to consume one tablespoon of vegetable oil per day, especially in salads and vinaigrettes. The rest of the required amount of fat enters the body as part of plant and animal products.

Regular diets recommend consumption of natural vegetable fats, butter, regular consumption of fish.


Unlike the sugars found inside plant cells, confectionery products contain so-called external sugars. Their excess in the diet leads to the development of obesity and diabetes, contributes to the progression of atherosclerosis. Sugar is pure carbohydrates, it contains no vitamins or minerals, which is why it is called the “empty calorie carrier”.

The consumption of confectionery, fruit juices, sodas and other foods high in sugar should be limited, as excess simple carbohydrates can lead to excess body weight. Remember, nutrition is essential to well-being.



You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.