Guías alimentarias basadas en alimentos

Food-based dietary guidelines - Spain

Official name

Healthy and sustainable dietary recommendations complemented with physical activity recommendations for the Spanish population. (Spanish: Recomendaciones dietéticas saludables y sostenibles complementadas con recomendaciones de actividad física para la población española).

Publication year

Spain published the dietary guidelines for children and adolescents in 2005. The guidelines for the general population were launched in 2008 and updated, revised, and published in 2022. 

Stakeholder involvement

The guidelines have been prepared and revised by the Spanish Agency for Food Safety and Nutrition (AESAN) of the Spanish Ministry of Consumer Affairs based on the Report of the Scientific Committee of the AESAN on sustainable dietary and physical activity recommendations for the Spanish population. The recommendations were endorsed by the Ministry of Consumer Affairs (Spanish Agency for Food Safety and Nutrition).

Products, Resources and Target audiences


Target audience

Report of the Scientific Committee

Academic community

Healthy and sustainable dietary recommendations

Policy makers, health workers, educators and teachers, general population

Campaign on healthy and sustainable diets

General population

Healthy eating plate

General population

Development process

The healthy and sustainable dietary recommendations cover the nutritional needs of the general population, promoting optimal health. The nutritional needs of the elderly and those situations in which it is necessary to reduce the amount of calories in the diet to maintain a healthy weight have also been taken into account, although recommendations are not specifically addressed to those groups of population. These recommendations help prevent cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes, and some types of cancer, and can also help improve the health of the planet, since they take into account the environmental impact of food and aim to promote a more sustainable consumption model.

The FBDGs take into account the best available scientific evidence on the effect of nutrients and food on health. The Spanish FBDGs for adults have been based on the report from the Scientific Committee of the Spanish Agency for Food Safety and Nutrition (2022) that updates former dietary recommendations for the Spanish population, considering for the first time the environmental impact of food, as well as recommendations related to physical activity.

A multidisciplinary team (scientists, epidemiologists, and experts on nutrition policies and communication) worked together in 2022 to develop the guidelines.


The implementation of the FBDGs is undertaken by the Spanish Agency for Food Safety and Nutrition and regional authorities. The guidelines are disseminated to the general population through communication campaigns on mass media and internet (e.g., social media) and through the cooperation of regional public health authorities and other relevant stakeholders.


The adequacy of food consumption of the Spanish population has been assessed in the past by large scientific studies conducted among representative samples of the population (ENALIA study). Knowledge of the recommendations can be evaluated periodically by the Health Barometer Surveys and the Surveillance Study on Nutrition, Physical Activity, Child Development and Obesity. 

Food guide

The guidelines are accompanied by a healthy eating plate which consists of 50 percent fruits and vegetables, 25 percent whole grains, and 25 percent healthy protein. For each of these, the recommended servings are provided, including information about portion sizes. Additional information on environmental considerations is also given for each group.

  • Vegetables: At least 3 servings or 150-200g per day. Buy them fresh and local.
  • Fruits: At least 2-3 servings or 120-200g per day. Remember, even if they have aesthetic defects, they are just as good. Eat them!
  • Cereals: Between 3 and 6 servings a day, depending on whether you lead a more or less active life. Whole grains are better. Eat different types of cereals to encourage crop diversity.
  • Proteins: Per week, eat at least 4 servings of legumes, 3 servings of nuts, 3 servings of fish and up to 4 eggs. Up to 3 servings per day of milk   and dairy products, preferably without added sugars and with low salt content. Reduce consumption of meat, for your health and that of the planet.

The food guide also includes a glass of water, a bottle of olive oil and images of physical activity, with the following recommendations:

  • Water: Water is the drink of choice for a healthy diet. Drink water whenever you are thirsty. Preferably tap water. The environmental impact of bottled water is higher than that of tap water.
  • Olive oil: Use olive oil in all your meals, as a dressing and in food preparation. Consumption of olive oil helps preserve olive trees, which contribute to the preservation of natural resources and the landscape value of the Mediterranean, as well as to enhance biodiversity.
  • Physical activity: Walk at least 7 000 to 8 000 steps a day. Intense physical activity is recommended for 75-150 minutes per week. Your body and mind will thank you.


For the general population, a healthy and sustainable diet should include:

  • Fruits and vegetable, minimum of 5 servings a day.
  • Cereals (whole grain), 3-6 servings a day.
  • Legumes, at least 4 servings a week.
  • Nuts, consume 3 or more servings a week.
  • Fish, 3 servings a week, better if blue fish.
  • Eggs, maximum of 4 medium-sized per week.
  • Milk and dairy products, 3 servings a day, without added sugars and with low salt content.
  • Meat, maximum of 3 servings per week, prioritising the consumption of white meat and minimising the consumption of processed meat.
  • Olive oil in all meals.
  • Tap water as the drink of choice.

For the general population, a healthy and sustainable diet should reduce and even avoid:

  • Processed foods high in sugars, fats and salt.
  • Butter and other saturated fats.
  • Salt.
  • Sugary and sweetened beverages.

The guidelines also include some specific messages:

  • for pregnant and lactating women.
  • on energy drinks for people under 18 years old.
  • for elderly people.  
  • on physical activity recommendations by age group: children, adolescents, adults and elderly people.


Environmental impact of food is specifically addressed in the guidelines. The guidelines encourage the consumption of food with less environmental impact (fruits, vegetable, legumes), locally produced foods, seasonal foods and, if possible, organic foods and promote decrease the intake of animal products with high environmental impact. External experts on the sustainability of food systems were part of the scientific panel that developed the report on which guidelines are built.