Guías alimentarias basadas en alimentos

Food-based dietary guidelines - Mexico

Official name

Dietary and physical activity guidelines in the context of overweight and obesity in the Mexican population (Spanish: Guías Alimentarias y de Actividad Física en contexto de sobrepeso y obesidad en la población mexicana).

Publication year

The latest edition of the Guidelines was published in 2015. 

Process and stakeholders

The development process of the Guidelines was led by an expert committee with representatives from the National Institute of Public Health (INSP), the Ministry of Health (SSA), the National Institute of Nutrition and Medical Sciences Salvador Zubirán, Universidad Iberoamericana, Ogali Nutrition Consultants and the National Academy of Medicine. These institutions officially endorsed the Guidelines. 

In addition, several representatives from civil society, as well as national and international experts, reviewed an early version of the Guidelines and participated in an international meeting to provide their input.

Intended audience

The intended audience of the dietary guidelines are the health and nutrition care providers (i.e. physicians, nurses, nutritionists, dietitians, and community health workers) and other actors involved in nutrition education.

The recommendations derived from the Guidelines are aimed at the general population. Specific dietary guidance for the different life stages are also provided. 

Food guide

The current food guide is a plate divided in three parts (El Plato del Buen Comer), each one representing a food group: vegetables and fruits, cereals, legumes and animal source foods (including dairy, meat, poultry and fish). The plate has a band around it with a different colour for each group: green for vegetables and fruits, yellow for cereals, and red for legumes and animal products. There is a message to “combine” between the red and yellow bands intended to make people combine those two food groups.

The food guide was not revised with the current 2015 Guidelines. 


The Mexican dietary guidelines have ten messages and one main premise for the general population:

"Be physically active and eat properly to maintain a healthy body weight and prevent diseases, by following these recommendations:"

  • Take your time to eat and enjoy your meals by sharing them with family and friends whenever possible. 
  • Include the three food groups: fruits and vegetables, cereals, legumes and animal source foods in your breakfast, lunch and diner. 
  • Drink plenty of plain water. Drink plain aguas frescas or flavored water without added sugar instead of sweetened drinks such as soft drinks, juices and aguas frescas
  • Reduce the consumption of foods with a high content of salt such as cold meats, snacks, instant soups and canned foods. 
  • Avoid overeating: consume smaller portions and stop eating when you feel satisfied. 
  • Choose roasted, stewed and grilled foods with little or no added oil (fat). 
  • Include vegetables and fresh fruits in each meal. Choose them with peel and in season. 
  • Eat whole grains like tortilla, oatmeal, amaranth, rice, bread and pasta; and legumes like beans, lentils and green beans, daily.
  • Reduce the consumption of sweet foods like sweet bread (pan dulce), cookies and bakery products. 
  • Practice physical activities at least 30 minutes every day, such as walking, dancing or playing. Try to integrate these in family activities.