Food-based dietary guidelines

Food-based dietary guidelines - Albania

Official name

Recommendations on healthy nutrition in Albania (Albanian: Rekomandime për një ushqyerje të shëndetshme në Shqipëri)

Publication year

Albania published its dietary guidelines in 2008.

Process and stakeholders

The development process was led by the Ministry of Health and the Institute of Public Health, in collaboration with the Ministries of Education and Agriculture, the local Government in Tirana and United Nations Agencies (FAO, World Health Organization and UNICEF) under the One UN Programme.

Intended audience

The recommendations are targeted at the general population but include specific recommendations for different population groups.

Food guide

Albania uses a food pyramid representing six food groups: cereals at the bottom of the pyramid; fruits and vegetables on the second level; dairy products and animal source foods on the third level; and fats and products high in sugar and fat at the top.


  1. Eat a healthy diet based on different kinds of plant and animal source foods.
  2. Eat bread, grains, rice or potatoes.
  3. Eat various types of vegetables and fruits several times a day (at least 400 g/day), preferably fresh and locally produced.
  4. Keep your body weight within the recommended limits (BMI about 20–25).
  5. Keep fat consumption under control (no more than 30% of the daily energy) and substitute saturated fat with vegetable oils.
  6. Substitute fatty meat with legumes, fish, poultry or beef.
  7. Choose low-fat and low-salt milk and dairy products.
  8. Choose food with low sugar content and do not use too much sugar. Limit your consumption of sweet beverages and desserts.
  9. Limit your salt consumption. The total intake of salt should not exceed 1 teaspoon (6 g) per day, including salt found in bread and other processed foods.
  10. Use iodized salt.
  11. If you drink alcoholic beverages, do not have more than two (a maximum of 10 g of alcohol) a day.
  12. Prepare food safely and hygienically. Use methods of food preparation that limit the amount of fat used – stew, bake, roast, steam or microwave foods.
  13. Encourage exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months of a baby’s life.
  14. Breastfeeding should be continued up to the first year.