Summary of recommendations on
dietary patterns

It is possible to achieve a healthy diet in multiple ways and preferably, with a wide combination of foods.

It is important to consider that gradual and small changes are the most effective way to contribute to long-term dietary modifications (see Table 5).

The European guidelines on CVD prevention in clinical practice and for the management of dyslipidaemis encourage nutritional strategies based on replacing less healthy foods with healthier alternatives and ensuring that individuals are consuming a balanced diet.1,2

Table 5: Make healthy food choices

Increase: Exchange: Limit:


Refined cereals

Wholegrain cereals

Processed meat and red meat

Fruits and berries

Butter, Butter based- spreads

Vegetable oils, Vegetable oil based-spreads

Beverages and foods with added sugar

Fish and seafood

High-fat dairy

Low-fat dairy


Nuts and seeds


Adapted from the Nordic Nutrition Recommendations 201226

Dietary recommendations should always take into account local food habits, however interest in healthy food choice from other cultures should be promoted. A balance of foods and beverages within energy needs should be promoted to prevent weight gain.

Additionally, among the wide variety of foods, food combinations or food group-based approaches, such as in these dietary patterns can be considered effective ways to improve the total CVD risk profile.

REMEMBER: The key for a healthy diet is to vary and to focus on quality, quantity and frequency of food intake!