Spain

Dietary guidance

Eating well

Healthy eating is about consuming the right amount of food for your energy needs and the right balance of foods to make sure your body gets all the nutrients it needs.

In Spain, the Ministry of Health, through the Spanish Agency for Food Safety and Nutrition (2) has developed a programme to promote a healthy diet and regular physical activity and sport and prevent obesity, especially among children and youth. The recommendations on healthy eating and physical activity are based around “Eat healthy and move 12 healthy decisions” (2).

These 12 tips are arranged into a pyramid and summarise the strategy for nutrition, physical activity and obesity prevention, better known as the NAOS Strategy.

The Pyramid: Eat Healthy and Move

The NAOS pyramid is split into three sections and provides guidance on healthy eating and physical activity.

When it comes to a healthy diet the guidance takes into account: quantity, variety of foods, frequency, time consuming and organization of meals depending on your lifestyle:

  • Bottom of the Pyramid: sets out food to eat “every day, several times”. This includes rice, pasta, potatoes, vegetables, fruits, milk and dairy, olive oil.
  • Middle of the Pyramid: this includes foods to eat “several times each week” such as meat, fish, eggs, legumes, nuts.
  • Top of the pyramid: here the recommendation is for people to “occasionally” eat foods such as candy, ice cream and soft drinks.

It is also important to remain hydrated with up to 5-8 glasses per day (1.2-2 litres) of water or other liquid. However, avoid excessive consumption of soft drinks and sugary juices.

The message is clear: eat healthy and move.

For further advice on your diet and lifestyle, please visit the Ministry of Health Agency for Food and Nutrition for the Spanish Government.

http://www.aecosan.msssi.gob.es/AECOSAN/web/nutricion/subseccion/material_didactico_familias.htm.

SUGAR FACTS

  • Sugar has four calories per gram compared to protein (four calories), alcohol (seven calories) and fat (nine calories).
  • White and brown sugars are both made from sugar cane or sugar beet (although sugar cane is not grown in Spain – it is grown in more temperate parts of the world). Brown sugar contain molasses, which provides the dark colour, characteristic flavour and texture. The darker brown the sugar, the higher the amount of molasses.