Food-based dietary guidelines

Food-based dietary guidelines - Iran

Official name

Food-based dietary guidelines for Iran (Persian: ایران رهنمودهای غذایی ).

Publication year

Iran first published food-based dietary guidelines in 1990. They were revised in 1993, 1996, 2006 and 2015.

Process and stakeholders

The 2015 version of the Iranian dietary guidelines was prepared by the Department of Community Nutrition in the Ministry of Health and Medical Education; with the involvement of the School of Nutritional Sciences and Dietetics, Tehran University of Medical Sciences; Iranian Nutrition Society; and the National Nutrition and Food Technology Research Institute, Tehran. There were also representatives from the other relevant organizations and NGOs. The World Health Organization Eastern Mediterranean Regional Office supported the process and provided technical assistance.

The Iranian dietary guidelines are officially endorsed by the Ministry of Health and Medical Education. 

Intended audience

The messages of the dietary guidelines are intended for the general population over 2 years of age, including individuals at increased risk of diet-related chronic diseases.

National planners and policymakers, nutrition educators and health professionals can use the Dietary Guidelines as a guide for developing food and nutrition policies, nutrition education messages for the general public, as well as  for specific audiences, such as children, adolescents, etc.

Food guide

The Iranian food guide is a pyramid divided into seven groups, divided into four layers: bottom layer (bread and cereals), next upper layer (fruits; vegetables), next upper layer (meats and eggs; pulses and nuts; milk and dairy products), the apex (miscellaneous, consisting of fats and sugar).


  • To maintain a normal weight and stay healthy you should eat adequately and have sufficient physical activity (e.g., walking daily 30-40 minutes).
  • Eat raw and cooked vegetables every day at main meals and snacks.
  • Eat fruit 3 times every day.
  • Eat legumes and dishes made with legumes once a day.
  • Consume milk, cheese and yogurt and other dairy products every day.
  • Use only liquid oils in small amounts for cooking your foods. For frying foods use only frying oils.
  • Include meats, preferably chicken and fish (with skin removed), as well as eggs, in your diet.
  • Reduce your consumption of sugar, sweet foods and beverages, and soft drinks.
  • Reduce the consumption of salt and high-salt foods.
  • During the day drink water and unsweetened beverages frequently.
  • When choosing bread and cereals, it is better to choose whole-grain (i.e., with bran not removed) types as far as possible.
  • Hygienic and proper preparation and cooking of food in the home are essential.