This food group includes legumes (e.g. cooked dried beans, peas, lentils), nuts, seeds, fish and other seafood, eggs, poultry (e.g., chicken) and/or red meat with the fat removed.
This food group provides us with many important nutrients, such as protein, iron, zinc, B vitamins and fats (which contains fat-soluble vitamins and omega fatty acids). Together, they are often referred to as the ‘protein group’.
As these foods provide such a wide range of nutrients, including foods from this group every day is an essential part of a healthy eating pattern. Choosing a variety over a week will provide all the nutrients they offer.
An adult should aim for two servings each day. Depending on your age you may need more or less servings per day. Read more about what you need on Healthy Eating by Lifestages.
Legumes include lentils, split peas, chickpeas and cooked dried beans (eg, red kidney beans, baked beans). Legumes, nuts and seeds are high in fibre, vitamins and minerals.
Nuts and seeds are also high in healthy (unsaturated) fats.
Oily fish (eg, salmon, tuna, sardines, and mackerel) and some seafood such as mussels are good sources of omega 3, which may reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke.
Red meat, chicken and fish all contain iron in a form that your body can easily absorb.
The four food groups | Ministry of Health
Last modified: April 3, 2022