American Red Cross Food Wheel

The 'Four Basic Food Groups,' an outdated concept drilled into the heads of generations of Americans and still widely accepted as the basic outline of a healthy diet, began as a 50s era attempt at nutrition education, and later evolved into a sop to agri-business. In 1956, the United States Department of Agriculture published a leaflet called Food For Fitness - A Daily Food Guide. It contained, among other things, a division of the commonly eaten foods of the time into four groups, based on their general nutritive properties. These groups, as we all know, were: (1) "The Meat Group" – meats, poultry, fish, dry beans and peas, eggs, and nuts; (2) "The Dairy Group" - milk, cheese, and yogurt; (3) "The Grain Group" - bread, pasta, cereal, (4) "Fruits and Vegetables" Nothing was stated about the relative amounts of these foods necessary for an optimal diet, at least in part because not much was known. 'Eat a food from each of the groups at every meal' was a standard rule of thumb, and in the 'four groups' educators had a handy tool for edifying. However, as the decades went by, the medical community, and then large segments of society, began to learn that things like lowering saturated fat intake and eating more fresh vegetables might be a good idea. So might eating newly available foods like soy. However, much of the mission of the USDA was and is to promote America's agricultural produce. Here is an inherent conflict of interest - the same people whose job it is to promote what is currently grown and herded are telling us what to eat! It took until 1992 for the four groups to be updated, and then it was in the half-assed way that led to the ridiculous Food Pyramid. Now there was an additional conflict of interest – heavy lobbying from agri-business. For instance, the final version of the pyramid included a pinnacle of "Fats, Oils, and Sweets," as a direct sop to sugar producers, even though these items were in no danger of being lacking from the American diet. Among other non-accidental flaws, dairy substitutes with the same nutritional properties as dairy products, widely available by the early 90s, were suspiciously missing from the 'Dairy' section of the pyramid, and the 'Grain' section made no distinction between nutritious whole grains and processed products like Wonderbread. Well, it seems there's no hope for government to get this one right. So here are the New Four Food Groups as outlined by the Physicians Committee For Responsible Medicine: 1)The Whole Grain Group - 5 servings a day 2) The Legume (bean) and soy foods Group - 5 servings a day 3) The Vegetable Group - 3 servings a day 4) The Fruit Group - 3 servings a day

The New Four Food Groups are: (1) The whole grain group - includes bread, pasta, breakfast cereal, rice dishes, corn, and other grains. They provide fiber, complex carbohydrates, important vitamins, and an adequate amount of protein (neither too much nor too little). Especially valuable are unprocessed whole-grain products, as compared to grains which have been ground up into flour or stripped of their bran. (2) The vegetable group - includes broccoli, carrots, lettuce, cabbage, potatoes, and cauliflower. Vegetables are particularly rich in vitamins and minerals. Beta carotene, found primarily in yellow and green vegetables such as carrots, broccoli, and spinach, has been found to reduce the risk of cancer and other diseases. Green leafy vegetables are also very good sources of fiber, complex carbohydrates, and calcium. (3) The fruit group - includes apples, bananas, peaches, pears, and oranges, as well as exotic fruits, such as kiwis and carambola. Because they are very rich in complex carbohydrates, vitamins, and fiber, fruits provide valuable resistance to heart disease, cancer, and other degenerative diseases. (4) The legume group - includes foods that come in a pod, such as beans, peas, lentils, soy, tofu, and tempeh. These foods are excellent sources of fiber, complex carbohydrates, protein, and minerals.

To the left is the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating Food Plate. The Food Plate is split up into six distinc groups.

Vegetables and Legumes  Cereals  Fruit  Dairy  Meat, fish, poultry, eggs, nuts  Sometimes Foods The Plate also suggests that we drinkplen water and enjoy a variety of nutritious foo

Vegetables and Legumes
5 Servings each day Vegetables contain vitamins and minerals which are beneficial to our health. Green vegetables tend to contain vitamin A, dark green and dark orange vegetables contain vitamin c, and plant vegetables such as broccoli are full of iron and calcium. Vegetables are low in fats and calories (depending on the cooking of the vegetables).

Women: 4-9 serves, Men: 6-12 serves Bread, cereal, rice and pasta, just to name a few, fall into this category. This group of food supplies energy in the form of starch and are also considered a good source of protein. Whole grain foods also contain dietary fibre, essential fatty acids and other essential nutrients.

2 Servings each day This group includes apples, oranges, plums, bananas- all the fruits under the sun! Fruits are low in calories and fats and are a good source of natural sugars. fibers and vitamins. Fruits may be fresh, frozen, canned, dried, pureed or juiced.

2 Servings Each Day Dairy products are those produced from the milk of mammals, such as cows, and includes foods such as milk, yoghurt and cheese. These foods are a rich source of calcium and also provide the body with protein, vitamin A and vitamin D. However, as dairy products can tend to be high in saturated fat and cholesterol, it is advised that you stick to the recommended daily servings.

Meat, fish, poultry, eggs, nuts
1 Serving Each Day Meat is a major source of protein, iron, zinc and vitamin B12. This particular groups include a variety of foods including meat, poultry, fish, beef, chicken, pork, salmon, tuna, shrimps, eggs, spices and herbs. However, since many people are vegetarian, the same nutrients can be found in foods like eggs, tofu, beans and nuts. Meats can often be high in fat and cholesterol as well as high in sodium. This being the case, small portions of meat are recommended each day.

Project In Nutrition

Submitted to: Ms. Jhonalyn P. Narcida Instructor Submitted by: Feby Kai S. Bautista BSN3-7

FNRI Food Pyramid