Any fruit or 100% fruit juice counts as part of the Fruit Group. Fruits may be fresh, canned, frozen, or dried; and may be whole, cut-up, or puréed.
The Fruit Group consists of apples, apricots, bananas, cherries, grapefruit, grapes, kiwi fruit, mangoes, oranges, papaya, peaches, pears, pineapple, plums, raisins, blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, cantaloups, honeydew and watermelons.
Any vegetable or 100% vegetable juice counts as a member of the Vegetable Group. Vegetables may be raw or cooked; fresh, frozen, canned, or dried/dehydrated; and may be whole, cut-up, or mashed. There are five Vegetable Subgroups: Beans and Peas, Dark Green, Red and Orange, Starchy, and Other Vegetables.
The Veggie Group consists of black beans, black-eyed peas, chickpeas (garbanzo beans), lentils red beans, soy beans, split peas, white beans, bok choy, broccoli, collard greens, dark-green leaf lettuce, kale romaine lettuce, spinach, butternut squash, carrots, red/orange bell peppers, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, corn, green peas, plantains, potatoes, taro, asparagus, avocado, beets, cauliflower, celery, cucumber, eggplant, green beans, iceberg lettuce, mushrooms, radicchio, sugar, snap peas, yellow bell pepper and zucchini.
Any food made from wheat, rice, oats, cornmeal, barley, or another cereal grain is a grain product. Bread, pasta, oatmeal, breakfast cereals, tortillas, and grits are examples of grain products. Grains are divided into two subgroups:
• Whole Grains contain the entire grain kernel — the bran, germ, and endosperm.
• Refined Grains have been milled, a process that removes the bran and germ. This is done to give grains a finer texture and improve their shelf life, but it also removes dietary fiber, iron, and many B vitamins.
The Grains Group consists of amaranth, bread products made primarily from 100% whole grains (such as whole-wheat breads, buns, rolls, and pitas), brown rice, buckwheat, bulgur, millet, muesli, oatmeal, popcorn, cornbread, corn tortillas, couscous, flour tortillas, grits, noodles, pastas (spaghetti, macaroni), pretzels, breakfast cereals, white rice, buns, pitas, white rolls, quinoa, rolled oats, whole-grain barley, whole rye, whole-wheat crackers, whole-wheat pasta, whole-wheat tortilla and wild rice.
All foods made from meat, poultry, seafood, beans and peas, eggs, processed soy products, nuts, and seeds are considered part of the Protein Foods Group. Beans and peas are also part of the Vegetable Group.
The Protein Group consists of black beans, black-eyed peas, chickpeas (garbanzo beans), lentils red beans, soy beans, split peas, white beans, anchovies, catfish, clams, cod, crab, crawfish, flounder, lobster, oysters, salmon, sardines, shrimp, squid (Calamari), tilapia, tuna, almonds, peanuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, walnuts, tofu, tempeh, texturized vegetable, protein (TVP), veggie burgers, chicken, duck, turkey, eggs, beef, ham, lamb, pork and veal.
All fluid milk products and many foods made from milk are considered part of this food group. Most Dairy Group choices should be fat-free or low-fat. Foods made from milk that retain their calcium content are part of the group.
Foods made from milk that have little to no calcium, such as cream cheese, cream, and butter, are not considered to be in the Dairy Group. Calcium-fortified soymilk (soy beverage) is also part of the Dairy Group.
The Dairy Group consists of fluid milks (flavored or unflavored), lactose-reduced milks, lactose-free milks, calcium-fortified soy, beverages (soymilk), cheddar, mozzarella, American, cottage cheese, yogurt, pudding, ice cream, frozen yogurt and ice milk.