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Food-based dietary guidelines

Food-based dietary guidelines - Spain

Official name

Eat healthy and move: 12 healthy decisions (Spanish: Come sano y muévete: 12 decisiones saludables).

Healthy nutrition from childhood to adolescence. The diet of your children (Spanish: Nutrición saludable de la infancia a la adolescencia. La alimentación de tus niños y niñas).

Publication year

Spain published the dietary guidelines for children and adolescents in 2005. The guidelines for the general population were launched in 2008.

Process and stakeholders

The guidelines were developed as part of the Strategy for Nutrition, Physical Activity and the Prevention of Obesity (NAOS Strategy) of the Spanish Agency for Consumer Affairs, Food Safety and Nutrition of the Spanish Ministry of Health, Social Services and Equality.

The ‘Eat healthy and move: 12 healthy decisions’ guide was developed in consultation with endocrinologists and universities and the ‘Healthy nutrition from childhood to adolescence’ in collaboration with paediatricians.

Both are endorsed by the Ministry of Health, Social Services and Equality.

Target audience

There are two sets of guidelines – one for children and adolescents 3–16 years old, and a second one for the general public.

Food guide

Spain uses a food pyramid with dietary recommendations in line with the traditional Mediterranean diet. The food pyramid is divided into food groups classified under three levels of consumption: daily (wholegrain cereals and products, fruits, vegetables, olive oil and dairy products), weekly (fish, poultry, pulses, nuts, potatoes, eggs, red meat and meat products) and occasionally (sweets, snacks and sweetened beverages). The pyramid also includes recommendations on physical activity.

Messages

  • Enjoy a variety of foods. Divide your daily food intake into five or six small meals, for example: breakfast, snack, lunch, snack and dinner.
  • Breakfast is an important meal in your diet.
  • Eat plenty of cereals, preferably wholegrain.
  • Try and eat five portions of fruits and vegetables every day.
  • Eat milk and dairy products every day.
  • Eat fish two to four times a week.
  • Eat small amounts of fat and high-fat foods.
  • Use good fats, such as unsaturated fatty acids (olive oil), omega-6 (sunflower oil and soya oil) and omega-3 (nuts and soya oil and fatty fish).
  • Prefer carbohydrates and fibre-rich foods.
  • Limit salt intake to less than 5 g per day.
  • Water is the best drink – drink at least 1.5 litres every day.
  • Watch your weight and stay active. Do physical activity regularly.

 

Additional dietary guidelines and food guides

The Spanish Ministry of Health, Social Services and Equality acknowledges other dietary guidelines and food guides developed by national and regional nutrition associations. Prominent amongst these are the 'Food guidelines for the Spanish population' of the Spanish Society of Community Nutrition, the food pyramid of the Mediterranean Diet Foundation, and the ‘FINUT Healthy Lifestyles Guide’.

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