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The 29 Different Types of Food (Epic Food Categorization Resource)

Yeah, it's kind of a weird title but this is an epic food categorization article that breaks down food by vegetable, fruit, meat, seafood, dairy and baked goods. Includes numerous nutritional facts charts.

The different kinds of food.

When discussing the different types of food, what we’re really talking about are the different categories of food.

Here’s a list of the main food categories:

  1. Vegetables
  2. Fruits
  3. Meat
  4. Dairy
  5. Grains
  6. Legumes
  7. Baked Goods
  8. Seafood
  9. Nuts and seeds
  10. Herbs and Spices
  11. Garnishes

Each category includes its own list of foods which we set out in detail below.

Related: Types of Condiments | Types of Garnish | Types of Herbs | Vegetables and Herbs | Types of Fruit Trees | Types of Beans and Legumes | Types of Mushrooms | Types of Bread | Types of Milk | Types of Nuts | Types of Spices

Let’s dive in… here’s our list setting out all kinds of foods.

Types of Vegetables

The various types of vegetables.

It’s hard to think of a world without vegetables as they have been a major part of a human’s diet since forever. The most mind-blowing feature about veggies is that they are exceedingly versatile.

vegetables nutritional facts chart

You can have them raw, cooked, frozen, or even in the form of juices. Depending on their color, flavor, textures, and nutrition quality, vegetables can be divided into nine families (mentioned below):

1. Asteraceae  Family

Also known as the daisy family or composite family, Aesteraceae is one big happy family of over 23,000 species of daisies. It is mostly composed of edible flowering plants as well as some herbaceous plants.

The most common vegetables in the composite family include lettuce, artichoke, endive, chicory, chamomile, and tarragon.

2. Alliaceae Family

There are some vegetables that are always stocked or restocked time and time again in our pantry. These are the kinds of vegetables that you most commonly use in your cooking.

They are, after all, what we call the staple food that should be present in every person’s kitchen. If you haven’t guessed it by now, then let us tell you that they are allium vegetables – garlic, onion, chives, leek, and shallot.

The importance of these vegetables lies in the fact that they help protect the consumer against life-threatening illnesses like cancer and cardiovascular disease.

3. Brassicaceae Family

The major part of Brassicacaeae family includes cruciferous vegetables, also called as, green leafy veggies. The nutrient content of these vegetables is super high as they are packed with vitamins and fiber.

The healthy vegetables that belong to this family are cauliflower, broccoli, collard greens, Brussel sprouts, cabbage, turnip, mustard, wasabi, radish, cress, horseradish, kale, and kohlrabi.

4. Cucurbitaceae Family

If you are looking for some great summer veggies, then you will find some in Cucurbitacease family (the gourd family). The most popular and healthy gourds are cucumber, zucchini, squash, luffa, cantaloupe, and pumpkin.

5. Solanaceae Family

Commonly known as the potato family, this vegetable family features everyone’s absolute delight – potatoes.

In addition to potatoes, it includes other nutritious veggies such as are eggplant, pepper, paprika, chile pepper.

6. Fabaceae Family

Get your daily dose of protein by having beans, legumes, and lentils belonging to the Fabaceae family. They also happen to be an excellent choice for all vegans and vegetarians as they offer a high quantity of protein. Soybeans, Lupin, clover, lentil, and peas are some of the members of Fabaeceae family.

7. Apiaceae Family

More commonly referred to as the parsley family, Apiaceae family mainly consists of root vegetables and spices that are used as a flavoring in all kinds of cuisines, from Asian to Chinese to European.

Some of the vegetables that it includes are a carrot, cumin, dill, fennel, celery, coriander, cilantro, parsnip, and of course, parsley.

8. Amaranthaceae Family

You may not know this but some of the most distinct vegetables come out of this beetroot family. Plus, they offer a rich amount of vitamins – folates, riboflavin, thiamin, and niacin to their consumers.

These organic veggies are beetroot, spinach, quinoa, amaranth, goosefoot, sugar beet, and Swiss chard.

9. Poaceae Family

Vegetables belonging to this family are a staple in many kinds of diets. What these veggies are, you ask? They are corn, oats, barley, wheat, sugarcane, rice, rye, barley, and a mallet.

10. Fungi

Mushrooms are technically fungi but often lumped in under the “vegetable” umbrella since they grow.  They aren’t technically vegetables but instead fungi.  That does not mean mushrooms aren’t healthy or don’t provide nutrients; they do.

Types of Fruits

The various types of fruits.

We don’t think there is any person in this whole wide world who may not like fruits. Due to their lovely flavors and plenty of health benefits, fruits are routinely consumed by hundreds and thousands of people. If eating them raw isn’t your cup of tea, you can always enjoy them in the form of juices and smoothies.

fruits nutritional facts chart

Whichever way you have fruits, their daily intake is crucial for your healthy growth. According to their variety of colors, shapes, and flavors, fruits can be further classified as follows:

1. Citrus Fruits

As the name implies, citrus fruits include fruits that are citrus in nature such as orange, lemons, limes, mandarins, and grapefruits. Among many qualities these fruits share, the most apparent one is that they are choke-full of citrus. It is estimated that the water content in citrus fruits is about 87% to 88%.

All of these fruits are notably packed with vitamin C which helps boosts the immune system and keep you fresh and young. These juicy fruits are also an excellent source of fiber and potassium.

Psstt.. they are also a weight loss staple!

2. Pome Fruits

Apples and pears are the most popular fruits that show profound results when consumed regularly. Eat them at any time of the day and they will be quite fulfilling, nourishing you with plenty of nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and good dietary fibers.

3. Stone Fruits

Ever wondered why peaches, mangoes, lychee, plums, cherries, and nectarines are known as stone fruits? That’s because they all have a stone in them which is called a “pit”. All of them come with an edible outer shell, tasty flavor, and impeccable health benefits.

Studies have shown that stone fruits boost the immune system, rejuvenate the skin, sharpen the eyesight, promote digestive health, alleviate muscle ache, promote sleep, and protect you against cancer and heart diseases.

4. Tropical Fruits

Also known as exotic fruits, tropical fruits are cultivated in warm climatic areas. The exotic delights include bananas, guava, acai, avocado, Jackfruit, coconut, papaya, star fruit, and passion fruit. These fruits are a real energy booster and their consumption instantly brightens up your day.

Have them in the morning for breakfast and get instantly refreshed with their yummy flavor. What’s more? They are loaded with amazing nutrients!

5. Berries

Do you know which of the fruits are the healthiest? Berries!

Whether they are strawberries, raspberries or blueberries, berries are the most nutritious fruit out there. All kinds of berries are packed with antioxidants that keep free radicals at bay. As we all know one of the most common causes of skin damage is free radicals.

With free radicals being under control, your skin will stay fresh and healthy. In addition, berries also help control blood sugar and insulin level. Hence, they are ideal for diabetic patients.

Have some berries daily and get excellent nutrients like vitamin C, manganese, vitamin k, copper, and folate.

6. Melons

Primarily, there are three types of melons – watermelons, cantaloupe, and muskmelon. These edible fruits are full of essential minerals and vitamins that ensure the healthy functioning of your body.


Farm-fresh organic eggs.

If there weren’t poultry, we wonder what life would have been like. Pretty dull and boring, that’s for sure.

Just imagine not having meat, chicken, or even eggs for any of your meals! Hard to imagine, right?

1. Meat

Meat nutritional facts chart

Meat is an umbrella term for every type of animal protein. While poultry has it’s own term, technically poultry is meat.  Same with beef, pork and IMO, seafood. Some folks don’t categorize seafood (fish) as meat but I do. It’s animal protein.  While not a mammal it’s meat IMO.

For a well-balanced diet, that is also thoroughly rich with valuable nutrients, poultry meat is a must. You can be at risk of suffering from life-changing diseases and/or infections if your daily diet lacks vital nutrients.

However, the consumption of meat ensures that you get the right dose of nutrients such as iodine, iron, zinc, vitamins, and fatty acids.

Generally, meat is high in fat, which can be distressing for people who are looking to manage or lose their weight. If you are looking for low-fat meat, duck meat is the way to go.

Not only is it healthier to eat but is extremely flavorsome as well. It is also a quite a versatile dish as it allows chefs and home cooks to make a wide range of dishes out of it ranging from casserole to salads to soup to finger food.

2. Eggs

Are you looking for an affordable yet high-quality protein? Look no further than eggs!

In essence, an egg consists of two parts – egg white and yolk, both of which are quite high in nutrition. Research shows that egg yolks contain more fat and calories as compared to egg white. They are also an excellent source of vitamins such as vitamins A, D, E, and K.

According to a study published in Paaediatrics magazine, children who eat one egg daily for six months are able to attain an ideal height. A study conducted on Chinese people concluded that the regular intake of an egg a day helps decrease the chances of heart diseases and stroke.

3. Chicken (Poultry)

The most common and popular type of poultry includes none other than everyone’s favorite chicken! This type of poultry has been domesticated and consumed by people for ages now. Being one of the oldest types of food, chicken is still touted as the most-loved food item. Why?

That’s because chicken is affordable and once it is cooked, it tastes utterly great. Chicken also comes in a wide range of types such as free-range chicken, organic chicken, and conventional chicken.

According to the USDA, a 100g of chicken contains the following nutritional value:

  • Protein – 18g
  • Iron – 0.9mg
  • Fat – 15g
  • Saturated fat – 4g
  • Cholesterol – 75mg
  • Magnesium – 20mg
  • Zinc – 1.3mg
  • Sodium – 70mg
  • Calcium – 11mg
  • Potassium – 289mg

In addition, chicken is also rich in various types of vitamins such as vitamin C, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folate, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin K, and vitamin D.

Within chicken, you may find more types such as game hens, fryer,/broiler, roaster, capon, and fowl. Other than chicken, some of the most popular types of poultry are ducks, goose, pigeon, and turkey.



Grains are staples in every culture but the type of grains consumed does vary.  I love grains and eat quite a bit of them (I’m not a follower of any protein-only diet).  Common grains throughout the world include:

  • Rice
  • Wheat
  • Oats
  • Corn
  • Barley
  • Sorghum
  • Rhy
  • Millet
  • Triticale
  • Amaranth
  • Buckwheat
  • Quinoa

The above list of grains are used to make all kinds of common foods such as breads, pastas and more.



Legumes are purportedly a good source of protein that is not animal-based.  I’m not a big legume eater; I prefer meat and seafood.  However, vegans come to know legumes intimately as it’s pretty much their only source of protein.  Common legumes include:

  • Chickpeas
  • Kidney beans
  • Pink beans
  • Black beans
  • roman beans
  • Navy beans
  • Red beans
  • Split Mung beans
  • Soybeans
  • Fava beans
  • Split peas
  • Green peas

Read our types of legumes for a lot more info here.


The various dairy products.

Dairy food plays a key role in building healthy and strong bones as they are abundant in zinc, protein, calcium, vitamin D, vitamin A, and magnesium. Some of the major types of dairy food include:

1. Milk

Milk nutritional facts chart

Cow’s fresh milk has an ample amount of vitamins, mineral, and other nutrients which is why their daily consumption is significant. The lower or no intake of milk can result in weak bones and calcium deficiency.

2. Yogurt

FYI, yogurt is a milk product that is created through the fermentation of milk. Regular intake of yogurt can help strengthen your immune system and promote weight loss.

The best of all is that it maintains your bone health, protecting you against osteoporosis – a health condition caused due to weakened bones.

3. Cheese

Cheese nutritional facts chart

Cheese is the yummiest dairy product that has been unreservedly enjoyed over centuries. You can find a number of types of cheese, having different colors, flavors, and textures. Some of the most common types of cheese that can be used as pizza toppings or used to add more flavor to scrumptious pasta are feta, Brie, cheddar, gouda, parmesan, Romano, and blue cheese.

Baked Goods

The various baked goods.

The sensation you get when you walk into a bakery and smell the pleasant aroma of baked goods coming right out of the oven is simply priceless.

There was a time when people only knew how to bake bread but times have drastically changed. In today’s modern times, there is no shortage of heavenly baked goodies. Some of the most popular kinds of baked goods are discussed below:

1. Cakes

Have a sneak peek into the cake category and you will be mesmerized by the huge variety of cakes. The Ice cakes, layer cakes, cupcakes, cheesecakes, and roulades are just a bunch of many kinds of cakes that you can find at any bakery shop.

There are also types of cakes that are low in sugar while there are cakes that have high sugar content in them. In other words, there are all kinds of cakes for all kinds of people.

2. Pastry

In this category, you can find a mix of both sweet and savory baked items including choux pastry, puff pastry, phyllo pastry, samosa pastry, sable pastry, shortcrust pastry, etc.

Their crisp, puffy rolls with mouth-watering filling are literally to die for.

3. Pies and Tarts

Warm, pretty, tender, and luscious are some of the words that you can use to describe the most delicious pie or tart. With pies and tarts, you can never fall short of choices. Yes, they are that many!

In pies, you have options of an apple pie, banana pie, chocolate pie, coconut pie, and fruit pies while in tarts, you can choose from a chocolate tart, berries tart, cream tart, almond, and peanut tart, etc.

4. Cookies

Not only kids love them but adults love them just as much – That’s the beauty of cookies. The pleasure you get from taking the first bite of freshly-baked cookies is pleasantly sweet always.

5. Custards

Primarily made from eggs, milk, and cream, custards can be sweet as well as savory. Some of the most universally loved custards include fruit custard, pastry cream, lemon curd, and flan.

Whenever you are craving something sweet, custard can be the best dessert to fix your sugar rush.


A lovely plate of cooked shrimp.

The first thing that pops into our mind when we say seafood is fish. Readers would agree when we say that fish is an exquisite low-fat food that possesses an ample amount of essential nutrients like protein. Here we’ve assembled some of the most likable types of seafood:

1. Prawns and Shrimp

Most health-conscious people have shrimp and prawns in their healthy eating plan. Shrimps are loaded with protein, selenium, vitamin D, and B12 while prawns have bountiful of potassium, calcium, protein, phosphorus, vitamins E and A.

The American Heart Association suggests eating seafood, especially shrimps and prawns, twice a week. Why is that so? That’s because their consumption may help reduce the chances of heart diseases.

2. Tuna

Tuna nutritional facts chart

A quick, simple meal that also provides you oodles of protein has to be tuna fish. Whether you eat fresh tuna or canned one, it will provide you with plenty of health benefits.

Research shows that eating tuna lowers the risk of heart problems, strokes, cancer, and eye diseases. It also consists of essential omega-3 fats DHA and EPA. It has been estimated that one serving of 500g canned tuna can provide you with 46% of DHA and EPA.

3. Salmon

Salmon nutritional facts chart

Salmon is one of the most in-demand fish that is widely consumed all over the world. And there is a good reason why that is so.

One of the biggest reasons behind that is that salmon happens to be dense with nutrients such as protein, vitamins, and minerals. Studies also suggest that eating salmon regularly can help decrease the risk of heart disease and stroke. It is one of those superfoods that is great for the skin, hair, and nails.

We are lucky and should be grateful to be blessed with so many kinds of enticing food that aren’t just feast to the eyes but are good for the soul too. So, which type of food is your favorite, and if you haven’t tried them all, it’s time to get going.

Nuts & Seeds

I’m a huge nut fan. I eat them almost daily. Fatty? Yes. Nutritious? Yes. Plenty of protein. Good-for-you fats. Not to mention delicious.

There are many types of nuts. We put together an epic article setting out the different types of nuts here.

Herbs and Spices

While not a food in the sense you spoon it up and chomp it down, herbs and spices are edible and are widely used for making food taste better. They also offer many health benefits.

The lists of herbs and spices long. We put the lists together in their own posts. Check them out:


Lastly is the mighty garnish. Not really food in the sense it forms a meal but it is food; people do eat the garnish and they form a part of a dish.

I’m not big on garnishes but they’re here to stay. I typically chuck it on a side plate since I don’t care for parsley, cilantro and many other garnishes other than beverage garnishes.

Read our list of garnish options here.


Oils can be good or bad for you. Olive, coconut, peanut, flaxseed, avocado, canola and walnut, grapeseed, sunflower and sesame oils are good oils to cook with or used for sauces.

Any oil that is in part or fully hydrogenated should be avoided because these are what have trans fatty acids.  It’s also recommended to avoid palm oil.

Oils, in general, get a bad rap because they are high in fat but the fact is, we need fat and more importantly, we need good fats.  I’m all about dousing my food in healthy oils such as olive oil.

Processed Foods

While not in a natural state, we’d be remiss not to include processed foods given it’s an enormous part of many people’s diet worldwide.  Processed foods are typically cheaper but not as healthy. Think canned food and/or fully processed such as cereals, insta-dishes (just-add water products), chips, candy, bars, breads, condiments, sauces and pretty much most of what you’ll find in the grocery store.

What about the different types of dishes?

Different types of dishes is different.  Dishes are made up of various kinds of food.  That’s a topic for another day.

The big food category list wrap-up

If we are not wrong, you must have heard of the term “food group” which refers to a variety of food grouped together, which meets certain criteria. One may wonder why these different kinds of food are categorized together considering that they are poles apart.

Firstly, as your common sense must have suggested, they all are food (duh). Secondly, they provide similar kinds of nutrients that are essential for the growth and development of human beings.

Owing to the latter reason, people rely on a wide variety of food items on a regular basis. But that’s not it, folks. Eating a varied and well-balanced diet also protects you from harmful illnesses and infections. This, in turn, contributes to a healthy lifestyle.

Just imagine that you can only have one kind of food every day. Wouldn’t it get boring? Sure, it would. As they say, variety is the spice of life, it makes sense why having many types of food is important. In this blog, we will discuss the most common yet popular kinds of food that are too good to be ignored.

Enter into a food market and you will be swamped by the variety of delicious food present in there. But how many of us can claim to know every important detail about these types of edibles? Not many.

Mother Nature has blessed us with a plethora of organic food for our daily sustenance. We enthusiastically purchase them and turn them into our favorite dishes and enjoy their delectable flavors.

However, there are kinds of food out there that we don’t know anything about beyond the fact that they exist. These are the types of food that you may not see being cooked every day in your home or it is likely that you have never liked them as such, so you never even tried to read up on them.

Whatever the case may be, it is imperative that you have full-fledged knowledge about all kinds of food. Why? Once you know the potential health value or risks about different kinds of food, you will be able to make a better decision whether you want to buy them or not.

This is why we have assembled important information regarding different foodstuffs in the world for you. So read on!