Guías alimentarias basadas en alimentos

Food-based dietary guidelines - Austria

Official name

The Austrian food pyramid – 7 steps to health (German: Die österreichische Ernährungspyramide – 7 Stufen zur Gesundheit)

Publication year

The Austrian food pyramid was published in 2010. It will be evaluated in 2015.

Process and stakeholders

The food pyramid was developed in a process led by the Ministry of Health, the Austrian Agency for Health and Food Safety, the National Nutrition Commission and the Austrian Nutrition Society, with involvement of various other ministries, universities, consumer and non-governmental organizations, civil society and private sector representatives.

It has been officially endorsed by the Ministry of Health and the National Nutrition Commission.

Intended audience

Austria has three sets of guidelines aimed at different groups: the general population, pregnant and breastfeeding women and children less than 2 years of age. Guidelines for the elderly and for children 1–3 years are being prepared.

Food guide

The food guide chosen by Austria to represent the messages of its guidelines is a food pyramid. The pyramid is divided into seven levels (or steps) corresponding to seven food groups. The levels are further divided into blocks (there are 25 in total), each block representing a daily serving from a food group.


  • Step 1. Non-alcoholic beverages. Drink at least 1.5 litres of fluid, preferably low-energy drinks in the form of water, mineral water, unsweetened fruit or herbal teas or diluted fruit and vegetable juices. A daily moderate consumption of coffee, black tea (3–4 cups) and other caffeinated beverages is acceptable.
  • Step 2. Vegetables, legumes and fruits. Eat five servings of vegetables, legumes and fruits every day. The ideal would be to eat three servings of vegetables and/or legumes and two servings of fruit (one serving = one clenched fist). Eat vegetables partly raw and consider seasonal and regional availability when selecting fruits and vegetables.
  • Step 3. Cereals and potatoes. Eat four servings of grains, breads, pasta, rice or potatoes a day (five servings for active athletes and children). Prefer wholegrain products.
  • Step 4. Milk and dairy products. Eat three servings of milk and dairy products every day. Prefer low-fat versions.
  • Step 5. Fish, meat, sausages and eggs. Eat at least one or two servings of fish (150 g) a week. Prefer high-fat fish such as mackerel, salmon, tuna and herring or local cold water fish such as river trout. Eat up to three servings of lean meat or low-fat sausages a week (300–450 g). Eat red meat (such as beef, pork and lamb) and sausages in moderation. Eat up to 3 eggs a week.
  • Step 6. Fats and oils. Consume 1–2 tablespoons of vegetable oils, nuts or seeds daily. High-quality vegetable oils (like olive, canola, walnut, soybean, flax, sesame, corn, sunflower, pumpkin seed and grape seed oil), as well as nuts and seeds, contain valuable fatty acids and can be consumed every day in moderate amounts (1–2 tablespoons). Use baking and frying fats such as butter, margarine or lard and high-fat dairy products such as whipped cream, sour cream and crème fraiche sparingly.
  • Step 7. Processed foods high in fat, sugar and salt. Some processed foods (such as sweets, pastries, fast food products, snacks and soft drinks) are high in fat, sugar and salt and are less desirable nutritionally. They should be consumed sparingly – a maximum of one small serving a day. Try to use herbs and spices instead of salt. Avoid highly salted foods such as pickled vegetables, salted nuts, sauces, etc.