Food-based dietary guidelines

Food-based dietary guidelines - Italy

Official name

Guidelines for healthy Italian food habits, 2003 (Italian: Linee guida per una sana alimentazione italiana. Revisione 2003).

Publication year

Italy published the third version of its dietary guidelines in 2003.

Process and stakeholders

The Italian National Research Institute on Food and Nutrition (INRAN, Istituto Nazionale di Ricerca per gli Alimenti e la Nutrizione), now called CRA-NUT, is the institution leading the development and revisions of the ‘Guidelines for healthy Italian food habits’ as one of its institutional tasks. The Italian dietary guidelines are based on the Italian recommended dietary allowances (RDAs) published in 1996 (LARN, Livelli di Assunzione giornalieri Raccomandati di Energia e Nutrienti per la popolazione italiana, edizione 1996). A new version of the RDAs will be published at the end of 2015 and the dietary guidelines will be revised accordingly.

Experts from a wide variety of Italian institutions including universities, research institutes and scientific societies are involved in each revision.

Intended audience

The guidelines are directed at the healthy general public. They do not include recommendations for infants and young children but they do include recommendations for all other age groups and for pregnant and lactating women.

Food guide

Italy does not use a food guide.


  • Watch your weight and be active.
  • Eat more cereals, vegetables, tubers and fruit.
  • Choose high-quality fats and limit the amount you eat.
  • Consume appropriate amounts of sugars, sweets and sugar-sweetened beverages.
  • Drink plenty of water every day.
  • Eat only small amounts of salt.
  • Alcoholic drinks – only if in limited amounts.
  • Choose a wide variety of foods.
  • Pay attention to specific advice for special people.
  • The safety of your food depends also on you.