• Written By Manisha Minni
  • Last Modified 30-01-2023

Food Variety: Definition, Variation, Factors & Importance


Food Variety in India: All organisms on this earth take food for survival. Food is essential and nourishes our body organs so that they can work properly. All living organisms on earth consume different types of food. Food also provides energy to our internal body activities so they can process smoothly. Food variety is the different varieties of food items that we take into our diet which provide nutrients to our body.

Food gives us energy, so we should always take healthy food instead of junk food. Food variety in Kochi may differ from the variety of food available in Amritsar, it is based on the geographical and climatic conditions of a place. We should always choose the correct quantity and quality of food variety in our diet to lead a healthy and long life. Continue reading to know more.

Food Variety in India: What is Food?

Food is the nutrition substance consumed by all living organisms to sustain growth and vital processes and furnish energy. Plants convert solar energy to food by photosynthesis is the primary source of food. Animals that take plants as food are also the common source of food for other animals and humans.

Variety of Food: Components of Food

The primary food components are carbohydrates, protein, fat, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and water.

1. Carbohydrates: Carbohydrates are the main source that provides energy to our body. Examples are rice, bread, potatoes, maize, banana, mango, etc.

2. Protein: Protein is an essential component that helps in building muscle mass. Examples of protein-containing food are pulses, milk, gram, eggs, meat, chicken, etc.

3. Fat: Fat is also an excellent source of energy. Fat helps the body absorb fat-soluble vitamins A, E, D, and K. Examples of healthy fat sources are walnuts, fish, vegetable oils, butter, meat, etc.

4. Fibre: Fibre is essential to keep the digestive system healthy. It helps in decreasing the chance of constipation. Examples of fiber-containing food are whole grain products, fruits, vegetables, beans, peas, legumes, nuts, etc.

5. Vitamins: Vitamins help in the growth of our body and keep the body functioning properly. The main sources of vitamins are green leafy vegetables, nuts, eggs, oily fish, meat, dairy products, plant-based oil, soya beans, etc.

6. Minerals: Minerals are essential substances that help bones and teeth and the formation of blood. The main minerals that our body needs are iron, calcium, phosphorus, potassium, iodine, chloride, etc. The food containing minerals are meat, cereals, fish, fruit and vegetables, nuts, etc.

7. Water: An adult human body consists of 60% of water. It is an essential component that our body needs to function correctly. It helps transport digested food to our body cells and helps to get rid of waste from our body.

Learn Everything About Food Chain Here

Fig: Components of Food

Balanced Diet

A balanced diet is a type of diet that includes all the essential nutrients and water and roughage in the right amount needed by the body.  A balanced diet differs according to the age and medical condition of a person. For example, a child needs more protein than an adult.

What is Food Variety?

Food variety refers to different types of food from the entire range of food groups like vegetables, fruit, cereals, meat, fish, and dairy products. Eating a variety of food helps us to get all types of nutrients necessary for a healthy diet.

Fig: Food Variety

Food in the Different States

The food that we eat varies in different parts of India. We eat a combination of meals every day like grains, dal, meat, vegetables, and many other things. The table containing meals from different regions are given below:

Food in the Different States

Fig: Food in the Different States

Food Items and their Ingredients

We eat different food items which bring variety in the food which we eat. Food items can be raw, cooked, or processed edible substances or ingredients used for human consumption. Every food item needs ingredients to prepare them. Food ingredients are the materials that are needed to prepare any dish. These ingredients we can get from the plant as well as from animal sources. Grain, cereals, vegetables, and fruits are the source of food from plants and plant products. Milk, honey, egg, meat, chicken, fish, prawn, beef, pork, etc., are the food products we get from animals. The table containing different food items along with their ingredients and sources are given below:

Food Items and their Ingredients

Fig: Food Items and their Ingredients

Food to Eat at Different Times of the Day

We eat many different types of meals in a single day. The proportion of meals is larger, more varied, and more filling. Mainly three types of meals we take daily. These are breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and in between these meals, we can take snacks. Our breakfast mainly consists of bread, omelette, milk, poha, upma, vermicelli, etc. We should consume a heavy breakfast to curb our appetite throughout the day and get more energy to do our work. At lunchtime, we must include hearty items like grains, pulses, vegetables, curd, salad, etc. Eating a light dinner will make our body healthy and fit. We can include vegetable soups, tofu, beans, beef, chicken, fish, etc.

Fig: Meals of the Day

Factors affecting Food Variety

There are major factors that influence the food variety in the region are mentioned below:

1. Biological determinants such as hunger, appetite, and taste: We usually eat food when we are hungry and satisfy our appetite between two eating occasions. The balance between hunger, appetite, stimulation, and food intake is controlled by our nervous system. The taste of food impacts the palatability of the food, so if the palatability of food is higher, it will be consumed for pleasure rather than its nutrient source. So, the higher the palatability of the food, the higher it is consumed.

2. Economic determinants such as cost, income, and availability: The food variety also depends on the cost of the food and the ability of an individual to afford it. The low-income group may consume an unbalanced diet with less nutrient food options. Availability is another factor that impacts the food variety. Sometimes it is found that some food types are not available in a particular area.

3. Physical determinants such as access, education, and time: It has been found that food types are also impacted by education and knowledge about the food as an educated person knows the value of dietary behaviour of the food and its nutrient value of the food. Due to lack of time, people will not go for healthy food, and people who live alone will look for convenience food such as pre-cooked food and pre-packed fruits.

4. Social determinants such as class, culture, and social context: Food habits or food variety is also get affected by the different social classes. The higher social class group may have a healthier diet compared to the low-class group. Cultural influence also impacts food choice and food preparation.

Importance of Food Variety

1. Variety in food gives us all the nutrients required for a healthy body as we get the different nutrients from the different food types.

2. Variety of food gives us multiple food options to choose from for our food diet. It helps us in selecting the correct type of food that is appropriate for our bodies.

3. The variety in food never makes us feel bored of eating the same food.


All living beings need food to survive, but we don’t get all the nutrients from just one type of food. Different types of food have different types of nutrients which are required for a sustainable healthy body. Food variety means different types of food that are available to eat. It provides us with the option of a variety of food which is healthier for our bodies. It also ensures that we get all the required nutrients from different foods. So we should always choose multiple food options in our diet to get all the required nutrients. Food variety depends on multiple factors like economic, geographical, cultural, social, etc.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q.1. What is a food variety?
Ans: Food variety means different types of foods from the entire range of food groups like vegetables, fruit, cereals, meat, fish, and dairy products. Eating a variety of food helps us to get all the nutrients necessary for a healthy diet.

Q.2. What are the factors influencing food variety?
Ans: Food variety majorly depends on the region’s climatic conditions. The climate decides which type of crops will flourish and grow in that region, thus influencing the availability of a particular food and sources.

Q.3. Why is having a balanced diet necessary?
Ans: A balanced diet is a diet that includes all the essential nutrients along with water and roughage in the right amount that is needed by the body. Thus, having a balanced diet is very necessary for the proper growth and functioning of the body.

Q.4. How can you bring variety to meals?
Ans: 1. Try different pasta, noodles, rice, polenta, barley, quinoa as a side dish at main meals.
2. Canned or cooked legumes, corn, or sweet potato, are an alternative side dish to the white potato.

Q.5. Why is it important to eat a variety of foods?
Ans: Eating various foods provides a range of different nutrients to the body, promotes good health, and can help reduce disease risk.

Study About Importance of Nutrients Here

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