Food-based dietary guidelines

Food-based dietary guidelines - Estonia

Official name

Estonian nutrition and physical activity recommendations (Estonian: Eesti toitumis- ja liikumissoovitused). 

Publication year

Estonia published its first set of nutrition recommendations in 1995 and dietary guidelines in 1998, followed by the second version of nutrition recommendations and dietary guidelines in 2006, which were based on the Nordic Nutrition Recommendations 4 (2004). The third revised version was published in 2017 and the revision is in line with the Nordic Nutrition Recommendations 5 (2012).

Process and stakeholders

The National Institute for Health Development (Ministry of Social Affairs) was responsible for developing the Estonian nutrition and physical activity recommendations. A comprehensive working group was formed for developing new recommendations involving different experts, research institutes and national organizations. 

Intended audience

The recommendations apply to the general healthy population.

Food guide

Estonia uses a food pyramid which has water, physical activity and rest at its base. The foods at the bottom of the pyramid (starchy foods, fruits and vegetables) represent the largest recommended daily proportion. Unsweetened dairy products and other animal source foods, as well as oil, butter and nuts are recommended to be eaten in moderation on a daily basis. On the highest level of the pyramid are products high in sugar or salt (ice-cream, soft drinks, honey, biscuits, potato chips etc.), which should be restricted. 


  • Eat a variety of foods.
  • Eat the right amounts of food to maintain a healthy weight.
  • Increase the consumption of vegetables, including legumes.
  • Vary the consumption of fruits and berries.
  • Increase the consumption of whole grain products (bread, porridge).
  • Consume unsweetened milk and milk products.
  • Eat less red meat, prefer fish and poultry.
  • Increase the consumption of nuts and seeds.
  • Limit the consumption of sweet and salty snacks.
  • Decrease the consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages.
  • Drink enough water.

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