Guías alimentarias basadas en alimentos

Food-based dietary guidelines - South Africa

Official name

Food-based dietary guidelines for South African.

Paediatric food-based dietary guidelines for South Africa.

Publication year

South Africa first published FBDGs in 2003. A revised version was launched in 2012.

Process and stakeholders

The South African guidelines were developed by the Nutrition Society of South Africa in partnership with the Department of Health, the Medical Research Council, academics, food producer organizations and United Nations agencies. They were adopted by the National Department of Health, Directorate of Nutrition.

A national working group revised the South African set of FBDGs (i.e. the draft paediatric FBDGs and the general FBDGs). A food guide and documentation have also been developed, in collaboration with the FAO, to support the revised FBDG messages.

Intended audience

The revised general FBDGs target people 5 years and older. The proposed paediatric FBDGs target children 0–5 years.

Food guide

The South African food guide displays seven food groups to be eaten regularly: starchy foods; vegetables and fruits, dry beans, peas, lentils and soya; chicken, fish, meat and eggs; milk, maas, yoghurt; fat and oil; and water.

It only shows food groupings (composed of local and affordable foods) that are necessary for healthy eating, and unlike other food guides, it does not include items whose consumption should be limited, such as highly processed foods high in sugar, fat and salt.

The size of each food group segment reflects the volume the group should contribute to the total daily diet.


  • Enjoy a variety of foods.
  • Be active!
  • Make starchy foods part of most meals.
  • Eat plenty of vegetables and fruit every day.
  • Eat dry beans, split peas, lentils and soya regularly.
  • Have milk, maas or yoghurt every day.
  • Fish, chicken, lean meat or eggs can be eaten daily.
  • Drink lots of clean, safe water.
  • Use fats sparingly. Choose vegetable oils rather than hard fats.
  • Use sugar and foods and drinks high in sugar sparingly.
  • Use salt and food high in salt sparingly.