Food-based dietary guidelines

Food-based dietary guidelines - Albania

Official name

Recommendations on healthy nutrition in Albania (Albanian: Rekomandime për një ushqyerje të shëndetshme në Shqipëri)

Publication year

Albania published its dietary guidelines in 2008.

Process and stakeholders

The development process was led by the Ministry of Health and the Institute of Public Health, in collaboration with the Ministries of Education and Agriculture, the local Government in Tirana and United Nations Agencies (FAO, World Health Organization and UNICEF) under the One UN Programme.

Intended audience

The recommendations are targeted at the general population but include specific recommendations for different population groups e.g. women, pregnant women, infants and young children, particularly in rural and remote areas, and in children living in poor families).

Food guide

Albania uses a food pyramid representing six food groups: cereals at the bottom of the pyramid; fruits and vegetables on the second level; dairy products and animal source foods on the third level; and fats and products high in sugar and fat at the top.


Twelve steps to a healthy diet

  • Take a healthy diet based on different kind of vegetal and animal food.
  • Take bread, grains, rice or potatoes.
  • Take various kinds of vegetables and fruits many times per day (at least 400 g/day) possibly fresh and locally produced.
  • Keep your body weight within the recommended limits (one BMI about 20-25), maintaining everyday a moderate level of physical activity. BMI = Weight (kg)/hight2 (m).
  • Keep under control the consumption of fat (no more than 30 % of the daily energy) and substitute saturated fat with light vegetal oils such as light margarines.
  • Substitute greasy meat and meat by-products with peas, kidney beans, lentils, fish, poultry, or beef.
  • Use milk and its by-products (sour cream, yoghurt, cheese, etc. which have low rates of fat and salt.
  • Choose food containing less sugar and do not use too much sugar, reducing the sweet beverages and deserts.
  • Choose a diet which contains little salt. The total consume of salt must not exceed one tea spoon (6g) per day including salt found in bread and other processed food. Use iodine salt.
  • If you do consume alcohol, you should not take more than 2 beverages (each containing 10 g alcohol) per day.
  • Prepare safety food and hygienically clean. Stew, bake, toast, stream cook, micro oven cook, in order to reduce fat.
  • Encourage breastfeeding only. Breastfeeding of your baby should go on throughout the first year of life.