What are various groups of food?

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1. Carbohydrate Group:

This group contains potato, cereals, jaggery, cane, etc. Starch is the main source of carbohydrate. Cereals, millets, pulses, etc., are also rich in protein and minerals. Jaggery and sugar are rich source of carbohydrates.

Carbohydrates are derived from plant foods with few exceptions like glycogen, lactose and ribose, which are present in milk and meat.

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2. Roughage Group:

Cellulose is not digested in human body, but is essential to strengthen the digestive system. For the muscular contraction of the intestine cellulose is a complex carbohydrate and prevents constipation.

It prevents to some extent the cancer of the bowel. It reduces the cholesterol level in blood as well as body weight. A high fiber diet may help in the treatment of obesity as it delays digestion and contributes satiety to the obese people.

3. Protein Group:

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Protein plays a very significant role in all the activities, of living organisms. They are essential during growth period because it is the main constituent in our tissues. Milk, Egg, Pulses, Cheese, Meat, Fish are some of the main sources of proteins.

First eighteen month’s human’s life are very crucial for protein requirement because eighty percent of the brain development is completed by this time. Acute shortage of protein may lead to mental retardation.

4. Fats:

The main source of energy is fat. The oil seeds, oil, ghee, butter etc, are the rich sources of fat. One gram of fat provides 9 calories of energy. The amount of energy available must be sufficient to help an organism to accomplish the voluntary and involuntary activities of the body. Fats also act as a lubricant, especially in the large intestine.

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5. Vitamins:

Vitamins are essential for good health and vitality. They are required in minute quantities by the body for the structural and functional disorders of various organs of the body. The most important being Vitamins A, B-complex, C, and D. Every vitamin must be considered individually and each has a specific function.

Vitamins are sometime destroyed while cooking the food. The rich sources are oranges, milk, mango, lemon, amla, carrot, egg, leafy vegetable, groundnut, cabbage, papaya etc. Every vitamin has its own significance and performs various functions in our body.

6. Minerals Salts:

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The mineral requirement in the body is very less; but calcium, phosphorus and iron are needed in relatively large quantities. Calcium and phosphorus are the main constituents for building the bones and teeth. Iron is the integral part of the red blood cells in the blood.

The rich sources of calcium and iron are green leafy vegetables, meat, fish, poultry, milk and milk product, potato, pulses, beans and other root vegetables. Iodine is present in minute quantities in all foods and it depends on the iodine content of the soil.

Source of iodine is the common salt. If these minerals are deficient in the diet disease like anemia (iron deficiency), rackets and os­teomalacia in children and adults (calcium deficiency) gostre (Iodine deficiency), may result.

7. Water:

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About sixty to seventy percent of the total body weight of a person is water. Water intake and loss must be balanced. Man can live for many days without eating food, but can not survive without consuming water for more than a few days.

Water is present in the intra cellular space (inside the cells)-the extra cellular space (out side the cells). Water requirement of a person varies with climate, age, activity, dietetic, habits and body builds.

It depends on the activity-if it is more intense; more water is needed to dissipate the heat. High minerals and extra sweet diet needs lot of water for dilution.

In the dry climate water is needed to combat the intense heat. 6 to 7 glasses of water are needed on an average by a person. There are a variety of enzymes which are active in many body functions and water acts as a good solvent. The metabolism and physiological activities need water.

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