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Categorizing food by their nutritious attributes, there are five major food groups: (i) Grains; (ii) Vegetables and fruits; (iii) Meat, fish, eggs and beans; (iv) Milk; and (v) Salt, oil and sugar. Different age groups require different intakes from these five food groups. The Healthy Eating Food Pyramid for the Elderly provides guidelines for elderly persons to maintain a balanced diet by following the food proportion recommended.  
  
According to the Healthy Eating Food Pyramid for the Elderly, grain, which is at the bottom of the Pyramid, should be taken as the major dietary source and should make up the largest portion of our diet each day. Then eat an appropriate level of vegetables, fruits, meat, fish, eggs, beans and dairy products. Reduce salt, oil and sugar which is on the top of the Pyramid. In addition, we should drink 6 to 8 glasses of water each day as water can help transfer the values of foods to different parts of the body and also help dispose wastes in the blood. 
 
Grains

Nutrients:    carbohydrates in particular starch, vitamins, plant-based protein and dietary fibre
Functions:  sources of energy, to meet the day-to-day needs of the body
Sources:      congee, noodles, rice, breakfast grains, bread, biscuits
Recommended:  brown rice, oatmeal, vermicelli, wholegrain bread, wheat cake
Avoid:         instant noodles, fried noodles, fried rice, cakes, waffle, pastry
 
 
Vegetables and fruits

Nutrients:   rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and dietary fibre
Functions:  to protect cells, prevent constipation and chronic diseases
Sources:     leafy vegetables, fruits, tubers, beans, edible fungi (mushrooms), dried fruits
Recommended:  fresh seasonal vegetables and fruits and naturally dried fruits
Avoid:       preserved vegetables and fruits, sugared dried fruits, canned fruits, fruit juice with sugar added
 
Meat, fish, eggs, legumes

Nutrients:    rich in protein, vitamins, calcium, iron and dietary fibre
Functions:   to build and repair cells, to support the metabolism of the body
Sources:      meat, poultry, fish, seafoods, eggs, beans, nuts, seeds
Recommended:  lean meat, fish, beans, bean products, nuts
Avoid:          fatty meat, chicken skin, chicken claws, internal organs, canned meat, preserved meat, barbecued meat, deep-dried legume
 
Milk

Nutrients:      Calcium, protein and vitamins
Functions:  keep teeth and bones healthy
Sources:      milk, cheese, yogurt, calcium-added bean milk
Recommended: low-fat or skimmed milk, low-fat cheese, low-fat yogurt, calcium-added bean milk
Avoid:         whole milk, full-cream cheese, condensed milk, chocolate milk, ice cream and other kinds of dairy products with high sugars
 
Salt, oil, sugar

Source: animal fat, plant-based fat, table salt, soy sauce, seasonings, sugar, candies, soft drinks
Recommended: low-fat, low-salinity, low-sugar foods, method of cooking with little or no oil, natural seasonings
Avoid:  deep-fried foods, preservd foods, candies, soft drinks, desserts, sugar-added drinks
 
In the process of understanding a balanced and diversified diet, we also understand food nutrients and how different nutrients help build our body.  With this knowledge, we can make sure that the food we cook and eat is both delicious and nutritious.