Food-based dietary guidelines

Food-based dietary guidelines - Poland

Official name

Healthy eating recommendations: Plate of Healthy Eating (Polish: Zalecenia zdrowego żywienia: Talerz zdrowego żywienia).

Publication year

Poland published the current version of its dietary guidelines for general the population in 2020. In 2019, the healthy eating and life style recommendations for children were updated, which are now in the form of a Healthy Lifestyle Pyramid. 

Stakeholder involvement

The guidelines were developed and endorsed by the National Institute of Public Health – National Institute of Hygiene (NIZP-PZH), in collaboration with the Ministry of Health.

Development process

The development process of the Polish guidelines consisted of:

  • A review of the literature on the influence of specific diet components and types of diets on health 
  • A review of recommendations of scientific societies and expert institutions in this field
  • A review of national and international studies concerning health status and including analysis of risk factors.
  • Determination of the most important diet-related factors in Poland, on the basis of, among others, the Global Burden Disease Study, which is a comprehensive measure of health status and includes an analysis of mortality, disability and health risk factors. 
  • The development of the concept, content and project of the new "Recommendations for healthy nutrition", including a new food guide and supplementary material "In 3 steps to health".
  • Realization of consultations among staff of the National Institute of Public Health, expert groups and institutions. 


In Poland the guidelines are mainly promoted through a website (run by the National Center for Nutrition Education, implemented by the NIZP-PZH and financed by the Ministry of Health) and through awareness campaigns addressed to children and families.

As part of the National Health Program the NIZP-PZH also conducts annual training for representatives of public administration (offices, schools, kindergartens, nutritionists, etc.), food producers and the catering industry, taking into account the guidelines. 

The guidelines are also promoted by experts in the media - social media, TV, radio, popular science and scientific publications, and by organization of conferences intended for doctors, nutritionists and food producers.

There is no official implementation plan. 


NIZP-PZH prepares a report on the activities carried out within the National Center for Nutrition Education including the promotion of the principles of healthy nutrition and guidelines in the society based on the indicators determined every year.


The Polish guidelines took into account national specificities regarding diet and nutritional status, as well as environmental aspects. The recommendations broadly include an environmental focus, mainly through the promotion of a diet based mainly on plant-based products.

Food guide

Poland's guidelines are graphically represented by a plate with the recommended proportions of food groups in the daily diet. Around the plate, recommendations to "Eat less", "Eat more" and "Replace" are represented and products listed. The graphic also takes into account physical activity and the need to maintain normal body weight. A supplement to the graphic of the Healthy Eating Plate is the material "In 3 steps to health" presenting specific nutritional recommendations on 3 levels, guiding the population on how to change their eating habits gradually and in small steps: step 1- take the first step, step 2- implement the recommended level, step 3 - get further health benefits. Updated recommendations for children are available in the form of a Healthy Lifestyle Pyramid. 


Eat more:  

  • whole-grain cereal products (e.g. oatmeal, wholemeal bread, wholemeal pasta, groats)
  • various, colorful vegetables and fruits – more vegetables than fruits 
  • legume seeds (e.g. beans, peas, chickpeas, lentils, broad beans) 
  • fish (in particular fatty sea fish) 
  • low-fat dairy products (in particular fermented) 
  • nuts and seeds (e.g. walnuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds)  

Eat less:  

  • salt 
  • red meat, processed meat (sausages, bacon) 
  • sugar and sweetened beverages 
  • processed food products (such as fast food, salty snacks, biscuits, bars) high in salt, sugars and fats  


  • processed cereal products (e.g. white bread, sweet breakfast cereals) with whole-grain cereal products 
  • red meat and processed meat with fish, poultry, eggs, legume seeds and nuts
  • sweetened beverages with water 
  • animal fats with vegetable oils 
  • full-fat dairy products with low-fat dairy products (milk, yogurt, kefir, buttermilk, and white cheese) 
  • frying, grilling with cooking, including steaming, stewing or baking 

Be physically active and maintain normal body weight.