The Austrian Food Pyramid

Changed on: 27.03.2017

Food-based recommendations are important tools for disseminating nutritional recommendations with regards to medicine and science. Graphic representations of, for example, food pyramids and the passing on of standardised nutritional information play a key role in this. Standardising food-based nutritional recommendations is an important measure in the Nutrition Action Plan (NAP.e).

The working group of the Oberster Sanitätsrat (OSR; Chief Medical Council) "Public Health – Ernährung" has been given the task of standardising food-based nutritional recommendations in Austria. A generally accepted version of the food pyramid was developed under the leadership of Univ.-Prof. Dr. Michael Kunze (Department of Social Medicine, MedUni Vienna) and coordinated by the AGES Nutrition & Prevention centre. This pyramid was approved by the OSR unanimously on 14th November, 2009 and presented to the public on 5th March, 2010.

The pyramid consists of six food and one beverage group. The closer to the base a food can be found, the more of it should be consumed, or in other words, the more it should find its way onto the menu.

Food-based recommendations are important tools for disseminating nutritional recommendations with regards to medicine and science. Graphic representations of, for example, food pyramids and the passing on of standardised nutritional information play a key role in this. Standardising food-based nutritional recommendations is an important measure in the Nutrition Action Plan (NAP.e).

The working group of the Oberster Sanitätsrat (OSR; Chief Medical Council) "Public Health – Ernährung" has been given the task of standardising food-based nutritional recommendations in Austria. A generally accepted version of the food pyramid was developed under the leadership of Univ.-Prof. Dr. Michael Kunze (Department of Social Medicine, MedUni Vienna) and coordinated by the AGES Nutrition & Prevention centre. This pyramid was approved by the OSR unanimously on 14th November, 2009 and presented to the public on 5th March, 2010.

The pyramid consists of six food and one beverage group. The closer to the base a food can be found, the more of it should be consumed, or in other words, the more it should find its way onto the menu.

The Food Pyramid in Detail – 7 Steps to Health

Fatty, Sweet and Salty Foods

Fatty, Sweet and Salty Foods

Sweets, desserts, fast food products high in sugar and/or fats, snacks, salty snacks and soft drinks are less recommendable from a nutritional perspective and should be consumed in very low quantities – a maximum of one portion of any of these sweet or fatty snacks per day. Use herbs and spices and less salt (per day). Avoid heavily salted foods, such as cured foods, salty and fatty snacks, salted nuts, ready-made sauces …

Fats and Oils

Fats and Oils

One to two tablespoons of vegetable oil, nuts or seeds per day. Quality before quantity. High-quality vegetable oils such as olive oil, rape seed oil and other vegetable oils, such as walnut oil, soy oil, linseed oil, sesame oil, corn oil, sunflower oil, pumpkin seed oil and grape seed oil, as well as nuts and seeds containing valuable fatty acids and can be consumed in moderation (1 -2 tablespoons) per day. Spreadable fats and fats used for baking and frying, such as butter, margarine or lard and fatty dairy products, such as cream, sour cream and double cream should be used sparingly.

Fish, Meat, Cold Meats and Eggs

Fish, Meat, Cold Meats and Eggs

Eat one to two portions of fish per week (à c. 150 g) preferably fatty sea fish, such as mackerel, salmon, tuna and herring or local cold water-fish, such as char (salvelinus), for example. Only eat a maximum of three portions of low-fat meat or low-fat cold meats (300 – 450 g per week). Consume red meat (e.g. beef, pork and lamb) and cold meats sparingly. You can eat up to three eggs per week.

Milk and Dairy Products

Milk and Dairy Products

Consume three portions of milk and dairy products per day. Buy the low-fat varieties, if possible. A portion equals: milk (200 ml), yoghurt (180 – 250 g), curd/quark (200 g), cottage cheese (200 g) and cheese (50 – 60 g). The best mix would be two portions of “white” dairy produce (e.g. yoghurt, buttermilk, cottage cheese) and one portion of “yellow” dairy products (cheese).

Cereals and Potatoes

Cereals and Potatoes

Eat four portions of cereals, bread, pasta, rice or potato per day (five portions for children and very physically active individuals). One portion equals: bread/whole wheat bread (ca. 50 – 70 g), baked goods, e.g. buns, whole wheat buns, rolls, etc. (ca. 50 – 70 g), muesli or cornflakes (ca. 50 – 60 g), pasta products (raw ca. 65 – 80 g; cooked ca. 200 – 250 g), rice or grains (raw ca. 50 – 60 g; cooked ca. 150 – 180 g), potatoes (cooked ca. 200 – 250 g, about 3 – 4 mid-sized). Buy whole wheat products, if possible.

Vegetables, Pulses and Fruit

Vegetables, Pulses and Fruit

Eat five portions of vegetables, pulses and fruit per day. Three portions of vegetables and/or pulses and two portions of fruit would be ideal. One portion equals: cooked vegetables (200 -300 g), raw vegetables (100 -200 g), salad (75 – 100 g), pulses (raw ca. 70 – 100 g; cooked ca. 150 – 200 g), fruit (125 – 150 g), vegetable or fruit juice (200 ml).

Rule of thumb: a clenched fist equals one portion of fruit, vegetables or pulses. Eat vegetables partly raw and be conscious of seasonal and regional availability when choosing vegetables and fruit.

 

 

Alcohol-Free Beverages

Alcohol-Free Beverages

Drink at least 1.5 litres of liquid per day, preferably low-energy drinks in the form of water, mineral water, fruit or herbal tea (no sugar!) or diluted fruit and vegetable juices. The moderate consumption of coffee, black tea (3 – 4 cups) and other caffeinated drinks is allowed.


The Food Pyramid for Pregnant Women

The right diet during pregnancy is of particular importance: it should ensure the supply of energy and nutrients to promote the baby‘s growth and development and prevent nutritional deficits in the mother.

Thus, the right choice of foods for an optimal nutrient intake is of particular importance. Experts and the "Public Health Working Group Ernährung" of the Oberster Sanitätsrat (Chief Medical Council) have developed a specific food pyramid for pregnant women, modelled on the Austrian Food Pyramid.

Pregnant women need more energy, but do not have to eat for two! There is an increased calorie demand of about 250 kcal/day during pregnancy. Food with a high nutrient density, such as vegetables and (whole wheat) grains are recommended to cater to this need. There will also be increased demand for protein from the fourth month of pregnancy onwards that can be met with a daily extra portion of milk or dairy products, or by eating one additional portion of fish, lean meat or an extra egg per week.

The need for vitamins (Group B vitamins - vitamin B1, B2, B6, B12, folate, niacin - and antioxidant vitamins A, C, E) and minerals (iron, zinc, iodine, phosphorous und magnesium) will increase more than that for additional calories during pregnancy and the breastfeeding period. A sufficient supply of folic acid and other nutrients is important for the child’s optimal growth. The additional intake of supplements should be first discussed with a doctor.



Pregnant women should avoid the following foods during pregnancy

Pregnant women should avoid the following foods during pregnancy

  • Alcohol and nicotine, caffeinated beverages 
  • No raw meat or meat that is not completely cooked (e.g. carpaccio, beef tartar, steak medium) 
  • No raw meats (e.g. salami, Landjäger, Kantwurst, Mettwurst, raw ham, smoked meat, bacon)
  • No unpasteurised milk (otherwise boil first) and no unpasteurised dairy products – watch out for labels saying "made from unpasteurised milk"
  • Remove cheese rind before eating; no spread or soft cheeses 
  • Pay attention to hygiene conditions when buying sliced, pre-packed cold meats and cheese or marinated meat 
  • No raw or partially boiled eggs (e.g. breakfast eggs, fried eggs) and no dishes containing raw egg, such as home-made Tiramisu 
  • No raw/half-raw fish or seafood (e.g. sushi, oysters)
  • No smoked/cured fish (e.g. smoked salmon, gravlax)
  • Vegetables, salad, herbs and fruit must be washed thoroughly – avoid pre-processed and packed salad 
  • No raw/unheated sprouts or frozen berries 
  • Avoid open, pickled foods, ready-to-eat sandwiches, open salads and fresh juices in food stores, restaurants and communal catering as a precautionary measure during pregnancy 
  • Avoid tuna, swordfish, halibut and pike as a precautionary measure because of possible heavy metal contamination 

Hygiene Rules

Hygiene Rules

  • Wash hands regularly and thoroughly before and after preparing food, after contact with animals and after having been to the toilet 
  • Wash fruit, vegetables and salad (even pre-packed salad) thoroughly 
  • Use clean towels, maybe even disposable towels to dry your Hands 
  • Replace sponge cloths on a regular Basis 
  • Prepare meat, raw eggs and raw vegetables on different, smooth surfaces 
  • Clean kitchen and working surfaces carefully 
  • Store raw foods separately from ready-to-eat foods in the fridge to avoid cross contamination 
  • Clean fridges regularly 
  • Do not break the cold chain and check refrigerators and freezing temperatures on a regular Basis 
  • Do not consume foods that have gone past their expiry date

Links

Federal Ministry of Health and Women’s Affairs:

The Austrian Food Pyramid

The Austrian Food Pyramid for Pregnant Women

Esspaar - online game for Food Pyramid

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