What Are the Major Types of Foods?

Foods are any material consumed to supply the body with nutrition. The basic necessity for all living beings is food. In the initial days of human life on earth, food was primarily obtained through hunting and gathering, with a side of fruits and vegetables thrown onto the fire to keep the animal alive. Food is of three different types: animal, vegetable and fungus. Animal food is that which is eaten by animals; Vegetable food is food that is eaten by plants; Fungal food is food that is not eaten by animals or plants but is made by fungi.

Food is grouped into two main categories: those that provide energy (food) and those that provide growth (fungus) in the body. Energy providing foods include proteins, fats, carbohydrates and vitamins; growth foods include vitamins B and C, iron, zinc, iodine and chlorophyll. Food is categorized according to how it provides energy or growth in the body. This classification is known as functional food or primary food. Foods that have a high level of vitamins and minerals are called primary foods. Those that do not contain vitamins or minerals but are of high quality and provide nutrients are called secondary foods.

Common carbohydrates are those found in vegetables and fruits, such as starch, glucose, dextrose, monosodium glutamate (MSG), lactose, sucrose, lactose solids, starches. Common sugars are those found in fruits and in some juices, such as glucose, sucrose, fructose, galactose, lactose, maltose and sucrose. Fats are triglycerides and polyunsaturated fats. Vitamins and minerals are found in other foods but are usually consumed together as they form a complete food group.