Food Groups have been used for over 100 years to provide guidance to the public on how to consume a balanced diet. The earliest nutrition guidelines which provided food groupings was provided in 1894 by Dr. Wilbur Olin Atwater.
The grouping of foods is often based on a set of foods that share similar nutritional properties or share a higher percentage of the macronutrients.
Four food groups are rarely used and not common place in current guidelines. An example of four food groups in use is the USDA publication in 1956 that was popularly known as the “Basic Four”. As with many of the guidelines a minimum number of foods was recommended from each of the main food groups.
The classic four food groups were:
- Fruits and Vegetables
- Grain Products