The eMark system puts all foods that provide similar nutrients into food groups. It is very important to eat a balanced diet that includes a variety of foods from each of the core food groups each day, to make sure you are getting all the carbohydrate, protein, fat, vitamins and minerals your body needs to be healthy and function efficiently.
The core food groups are vegetables, fruit, breads and cereals, milk, yoghurt, cheese and meat and alternatives. Most of the foods in your daily meal plan should be chosen from these food groups.
Healthy fats and oils are not a core food group, but they contain less than 20 grams of saturated fat per 100g, and contain some important nutrients, such as omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids – so you should include some of these foods in your daily meal plan (at the recommended serving size).
The food group called ‘other’ contains high fat foods (more than 10g of saturated fat per 100g) and foods with little nutritional value. It is best to eat these foods only occasionally, especially if you are trying to lose weight. However, you can occasionally include foods from this group in an eMark meal plan if you eat the recommended serving size.
The condiments food group contains sauces and spreads that should be consumed in small amounts. Serving size is important, as large quantities of condiments will add excessive energy to your meal plan, which can lead to weight gain.
Finally, the free foods group contains foods and drinks that are not artificially sweetened, and provide very little or no energy.
No single food contains all the essential nutrients the body needs to be healthy and function efficiently. The nutritional value of your diet depends on the overall mixture, or balance, of foods that is eaten over a period of time, as well as your individual needs. That is why a balanced diet is one that is likely to include a large number or variety of foods, so adequate intakes of all the nutrients are achieved.
Note: If you don’t find the food you’re looking for in the food group you would expect it to be in, it may be because the food includes ingredients from more than one food group – for example, lasagne, hamburgers and meat pies. In this case the easiest way to find it is to search for the product by name.
|Food Group||Nutrients||Sub groups||Food examples|
|Vegetables||Vitamin C, carotenes, folate, fibre, carbohydrate||Starchy vegetables||Potato, kumara, taro, parsnip|
|Non starchy vegetables||Lettuce, tomato, carrot, pumpkin, capsicum, spinach, green beans, cabbage|
|Fruits||Vitamin C carotenes, folate, fibre, carbohydrate||Apple, orange, banana, apricot, peach, pear, plum, melon, pineapple|
|Breads and cereals||Carbohydrate, fibre, B vitamins, calcium, iron||Bread and flour- based products excluding pasta||Bread, bagels, muffins, crispbreads|
|Rice, pasta, cereal, grains||Breakfast cereal, rice, pasta, couscous, bulghur|
|Milk, Yoghurt, Cheese||Protein, calcium, Vitamin B12, Vitamin B2, Vitamin A||Milk, yoghurt, cottage cheese, soy milk|
|Meat & Alternatives||Protein, iron, B vitamins, Vitamin D, zinc, magnesium, carbohydrate (alternatives)||Lamb, beef, chicken, pork, fish and seafood, tofu, dried beans and lentils|
|Healthy Fats & Oil||Avocado, canola oil,olive oil, walnuts, sunflower seeds|
|Others||Butter, high fat cheeses, potato crisps, chocolate, cakes, sweet biscuits|
|Condiments||Jam, peanut butter, sugar, Vegemite, chutney, tomato sauce|
|Free foods||Herbs and spices, tea, coffee, plain soda and diet drinks|