Food Groups Eating Habits Outdoor Kitchen person slicing green vegetable in front of round ceramic plates with assorted sliced vegetables during daytime

6 Things You Should Know About Pairing Different Food Groups

Eating is one of the most critical factors in your overall health. The food you consume gives your body the necessary nutrients to function correctly. That’s why it is essential to know the different food groups and how they can impact your health.

Food Groups

The main food groups are grains, vegetables, dairy, protein, and fruits. Each food group plays a different role in your body, and consuming various foods from all the groups is essential for good health. However, eating from all the food groups alone is not enough. You need to know how to pair different food groups together to benefit from them most. Here are six things you should know about pairing different food groups:

Carbohydrates and Proteins Complement Each Other

Carbohydrates are the body’s primary energy source, while proteins are needed for cell growth and repair. When you eat carbs and proteins together, they work to give you sustained energy and help your body recover from exercise more effectively. Good sources of carbohydrates include whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Protein sources include lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, and nuts.

When pairing carbohydrates and proteins, finding a balance is key. To ensure you are getting enough of both nutrients, know the amount of each recommended serving. If you are a vegan, a protein combination chart can help you find foods that complement each other to reach the recommended intake. A complete protein contains all the essential amino acids your body needs. Vegans can pair foods like rice and beans or quinoa and broccoli to get the required amount of carbs and proteins.

Fats Help Your Body Absorb Vitamins

Fat-soluble vitamins, such as A, D, E, and K, need fat to be absorbed by the body. These vitamins are essential for maintaining healthy skin, eyesight, and bones. Good fat sources include avocados, olive oil, nuts, and seeds. In addition, you should limit your intake of saturated fats found in animal products and some plant oils. Saturated fats can raise your LDL cholesterol levels, increasing your risk of heart disease. Avoid trans fats, created when manufacturers add hydrogen to vegetable oils to solidify them. Trans fats are often found in processed foods, such as cookies, crackers, and fried foods.

Vitamins and Minerals Work Together to Keep Your Body Healthy

Vitamins and minerals are essential nutrients that help your body function properly. They work together to support immunity, bone health, and many other bodily processes. Good sources of vitamins and minerals include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fortified foods.

Eating various foods from all food groups is essential to benefit from vitamins and minerals most. This way, you’ll be sure to get all the nutrients your body needs. You can supplement your diet with a daily multivitamin if you’re not getting enough vitamins and minerals from food.

Water Helps Your Body Absorb Nutrients

Water is essential for good health, as it helps your body absorb nutrients and flush out toxins. When you’re dehydrated, your body can’t function properly. Good water sources include fruits and vegetables, which are about 80% water by weight. You should drink eight glasses of water a day to stay hydrated. You may need even more if you exercise regularly or live in a hot climate. In addition, you should limit your intake of sugary drinks, as they can cause dehydration and weight gain.

Probiotics Help Keep Your Gut Healthy

Probiotics are live bacteria in fermented foods like yogurt, sauerkraut, and kimchi. They help maintain a healthy balance of bacteria in the gut, which is vital for digestive health. Probiotics can also help boost immunity and reduce inflammation. You can get probiotics from supplements, but it’s best to get them from food sources. You’ll also benefit from vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Ideally, you should consume various probiotic-rich foods to get the most benefit.

Fiber Helps Your Body Stay Regular

Food Groups

Fiber is a type of carbohydrate that your body can’t digest. It’s important for digestive health as it helps bulk up stool and prevents constipation. Good sources of fiber include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes. It would help if you aimed to consume 25-30 grams of fiber daily. If you’re not used to eating a lot of fiber, start slowly to avoid gastrointestinal issues like bloating and gas.

Consuming various nutrients is vital to maintaining good health. Fats, vitamins, minerals, water, fiber, and probiotics all play an essential role in keeping your body functioning correctly. Eat various healthy foods from all food groups to ensure you get all the necessary nutrients. And if you’re not sure you’re getting enough of a specific nutrient, you can supplement your diet with a daily multivitamin.