Food Types – A Short Overview
Food is any material consumed in order to provide nutrition to an organism, usually through digestion. Food is usually of animal, plant or fungi origin, and has certain essential nutrients, including vitamins, proteins, carbohydrates, fat, or minerals. Some food materials can be stored easily, for example, sugar, fat and salt are stored in some food materials. The nutritional value of food can also be improved by cooking, by making the food more digestible or by making the food more nutritious. However, in order to meet the daily needs of people, a wide variety of food is available on the market nowadays.
Grains, vegetables, seeds, nuts and dairy products constitute the major groups of food, each having their own characteristics and functions. Milk is one of the most important food groups, as it provides many of the essential substances that are necessary for the growth of an animal. Eggs are another source of protein, while whole grain cereals and breads are good sources of dietary fiber. Meat, poultry, fish and game are the other categories of food, each of them being rich in protein, fat, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals. There are different kinds of food, the common ones being fruits, vegetables, legumes (such as beans, peas, cowpeas, lentils), seeds, nuts, dairy products and alcoholic beverages.
Grains, vegetables and nuts are categorized into six groups, the first two being the best for the health of the diet and the last two as the worst for the health. For example, whole grain bread is considered to be the healthiest food, while white bread is considered to be the worst for this purpose. The main reason behind this is the amount of added sugar that is included in white bread compared with whole grain bread. The amount of added sugar is approximately twenty times greater in white bread than in whole grain bread.