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The Four Basic Food Groups is an outdated concept drilled into all of us from an early age. However, it is still widely accepted as the basic outline of a healthy balanced diet. It is outdated only because the emphasis on nutritional education has shifted and not because the concept is not valid. Indeed, these four groups have stood the test of time and still hold true today.

The 4 food groups consist of:

1) Meat Group - meats, poultry, fish, dry beans & peas, eggs, and nuts.

2) Dairy Group - milk, cheese, and yogurt

3) Grain Group - bread, pasta, cereal

4) Fruits and Vegetables Group

Nutritional education is needed now more than ever before. It is necessary to identify with the importance of lowering saturated fat intake and eating more fresh fruits and vegetables to stay healthy.

While the basic four groups will never change, the Basic Four Groups were updated in 1992 by the Physicians Committee For Responsible Medicine (PCRM) as follows:

1) Whole Grain Group - 5 servings a day

2) Legume (bean) and Soy Foods Group - 5 servings a day

3) Vegetable Group - 3 servings a day

4) Fruit Group - 3 servings a day

The PCRM is a Washington based, non-profit organization formed in 1985 that advocates and lobbies for a healthier society and high ethical standards in the medical profession. Their focus on preventative medicine through proper nutrition. This only proves that we must be responsible with educating ourselves about proper food and diet. Learning about basic food groups is important.

In the end, it is simply enough to say that common sense should prevail. The old sayings are still true. An apple a day...keeps the doctor away. Get plenty of rest, drink lots of water, and eat healthy. Healthy eating starts with being educated about the right foods to eat. And finally, get plenty of exercise!

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