Saturday, October 23, 2010

Food groups and their description and nutritional importance in diet.

On : 1:08 AM
Nutritive value of different groups of foods.

The nutritive value of different groups of foods:
Foods may be broadly classified into ten groups based on their nutritive value
1.        cereals and millets,
2.       Pulses
3.       Nuts and oil seeds,
4.       Vegetables
5.       Green leafy vegetables
6.       Non-leafy
7.       Roots and tubers
8.       Fruits
9.       Milk and milk products
10.   Animal foods—meat ,fish,liver, egg, etc.,
11.   Carbohydrate foods,
12.   Condiments and spices
The nutritional significance of the different groups of foods is briefly described below.
Cereals and millets are the most important of foodstuffs, consumed throughout the world. They are rich sources of carbohydrates and fair sources of proteins (6-12 percent). In India cereals and millets contribute 70-80 percent of the calories, proteins and certain B-vitamins and minerals in the diets of the people. All cereals except ragi are poor to moderate sources of calcium.
Rice is the poorest of all in calcium content. Ragi is a rich source of calcium.
Pulses are rich in proteins containing about 18-25 per cent. They are also good sources of B-vitamins and minerals. Germinated pulses and tender pulses like green peas, green Bengal gram and green field beans are good sources of vitamin C.
Nuts and oil seeds are in general (except coconut) rich sources of protein containing about 18-28 percent. They are also rich sources of fat and good sources of minerals and B-vitamins . Gingely (sesame , til) seesd is particularly rich in calcium. Groundnut and soyabean can be use for the preparation of vegetable milks and curds.
Vegetables: Green leafy vegetables are rich sources of carotene, which is a precursor of vitamin A. They are also good sources of calcium, riboflavin, folic acid and vitamin C. They are the cheapest among the protective foods.
Non-leafy includes all vegetables other those included in the above category. Some of them are fair sources of vitamin C and minerals.
Roots and tubers are good sources of carbohydrates and can be used as partial substitutes for cereals in the diet .Some of them are also good sources of vitamin C. Carrots and yellow flesh variety of sweet potato are rich sources of carotene also.
Fruits in general are good sources of vitamin C. some of them (mango and papaya) are also moderately rich sources of carotene.
Indian gooseberry (amla) and guava are very rich sources of carotene. Indian gooseberry (amla) and guava are very rich sources of vitamin C. Other good sources of vitamin C are tomato, Citrus fruits, papaya, Mango and pineapple.
Milk and milk Products:
Milk is universally regarded as an ideal food for nourishing infants and young children. It is also a good supplementary food in the diet of adults. Milk is the most complete of all foods, containing the different
Nutrients in the proper proportions. It is, however, deficient in iron and contains only small amounts of vitamins C and D.    
Whole milk powder is about 8 times as rich as fresh milk in all nutrients except vitamin C. When reconstituted with 7 times its weight of water, the reconstituted milk has almost the same composition as that of fresh milk.
Skimmed milk powder is rich in proteins, calcium and B vitamins but is deficient in fat and vitamin A and D and hence it is not suitable for feeding infants. It can, however, be used as supplement to the diets of children and adults.
Sweetened condensed milk is about two and half times as rich as fresh milk and contains, in addition, about 45 percent cane sugar. .It is not suitable for feeding infants as it contains too much of sugar . It may, however, be given as a supplement to the diets of children and adults.
Animal foods: Liver is rich in proteins (18-20 percent) of high nutritive value and vitamin A and B-complex. It is the richest natural source of vitamin B12 the ant pernicious anaemia factor.
Meat is rich in proteins of biological value. It is also a fair source of B-vitamins.
Fish is also rich in proteins of high nutritive value. It is fair source of B-vitamins .Large fish are rich in phosphorous but are deficient in calcium. Small fish, eaten with bones, are good sources of calcium.
Hen’s egg is a highly nutritious food containing about 13 percent protein of high nutritive and 13 percent fat (rich in lecithin). It is also a rich source of vitamin A and B-vitamins. It is a fair source of vitamin D but does not contain vitamin C. Egg white contains only protein and B-vitamins while egg yolk contains proteins, fat and vitamins A, B-complex and D.
Fats and oils serve mainly as sources of energy. Ghee, butter and vanaspathi contain about 750 I.U of vitamin A per ounce. All the vegetable oils and fats used for edible purposes do not contain vitamin A but are good sources of Vitamin E.
Carbohydrate foods: commonly used are cane sugar, jiggery, glucose, honey, syrup, arrow-root flour, sago ,etc . They serve mainly as sources of energy. Honey contains, in addition to sugar,
Small quantities of minerals and vitamins.
Condiments and spices are commonly used to enhance the palatability of foods. The essential oils present in them have, carminative properties and aid in the digestion of food by stimulating the  appetite and the secretion of digestive juices.
Food group
Nutritional importance
1.cereals and millets

Rice, wheat, bajra, jowra, ragi, maize, etc.

Rich sources of carbohydrates, air sources of proteins(6-12%) and B-vitamins and certain minerals.

2. Pulses

Bengalgram,blackgram,greengram,red gram, peas, beans masur dhal, etc.

Rich sources of proteins (18-28%) fat(20-60%) certain B-vitamins and minerals.
3.Nuts and oilseeds

Groundout, sesameseeds, cashewnutss, almonds, walnuts, soybean etc.

Rich sources of proteins(18-28%) ,fat(20-60%) certain B-vitamins and minerals.
a. green lefay

b. Non-leafy

C) Roots and tubers


Brinjal, beans,cauliflower lady’s finger, pumpkin ,snake gourd ,ash gourd ,plantin ,etc..
Potato ,tapioca,sweet potato,carrot,radish, colcasia,yam, etc.

Rich sources of carotene (pro-vitamin A) , vitamin C, calcium and iron.
Fair sources of vitamin C and minerals.

 Good sources of carbohydrates which can be used as partial substitutes for cereals .

5. Fruit s

Amla,guava,papaya,lemon, orange ,banana ,mango and tomato .

Good sources of carbohydrates which can be used as partial  substitutes for cereals

6. Milk and milk products

7. Animal foods

Milk and curds

Hen’s and duck’s

Good sources of nutrients and the most complete of all foods.

Rich sources of protein(18-22%) , B-vitamins and phosphorous.
Rich source of protein(18-22%), B-vitamins and phosphorous.

White and brown sugars,jiggery,honey,sago,arrow-root flour and corn flour(custard powder)

These serve mainly as source of energy

9.fats  and oils

Ground out oil, coconut oil,gingely oil ,butter,ghee vanaspathi etc.

Concentrated sources of energy ,sources of fat soluble vitamins especially vitamin E. some (butter,ghee and vanaspathi) also contain vitamin A.

10.condiments and spices          

Chilles,tarmind, etc.

They have carminative properties and increase the palatability of foods



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