The three basic groups of foods are carbohydrates, proteins and fats. These are also called macronutrients or "go, grow and glow" foods. Each of these three types of food serves an important function in promoting or supporting overall health.
Carbohydrates are direct energy foods ("go" foods). Grain-based foods like bread and pasta are a common source of carbohydrates, as are fruits and starchy vegetables like potatoes and dried beans. The body converts these foods directly into sugar for fueling its many functions.
Protein is building food ("grow" food) that the body uses to maintain muscles and tissues. Some proteins are complete -- they have all of the amino acids your body needs. Other proteins are incomplete and must be combined to create complete proteins. Therefore, it is important to eat food from a variety of protein sources.
Fats are the third macronutrient, and make up part of the "glow foods." Glow foods also include fruits and vegetables. Fats are crucial to good health, but it is important to choose good fats -- monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats -- rather than bad fats -- saturated or trans-fats.