The Ireland Diet

ireland diet

The ireland diet is a traditional food plan that consists of a combination of meat, dairy and vegetables. It is a healthy diet plan that focuses on whole foods and low in fat, salt and sugar.

In the pre-potato era, milk and grain were two of the most important ingredients in the Irish diet. Grains, like oats, were eaten in all manner of baked goods and porridge.


Fruit and vegetables (F&V) are a crucial part of a healthy diet. They are rich in dietary fibre, vitamins and minerals, which help to reduce the risk of non-communicable diseases such as cardiovascular disease and certain cancers. They also contribute to better health, environmental sustainability and a healthier environment(5,6,9).

Ireland has a mild and wet climate and is well suited to growing a wide range of vegetables. Most of these are conventionally grown but there is an increasing amount of organic production in the country.

The majority of vegetables are harvested every week with the main season from July to March. Vegetable growers have made great strides in recent years to extend the growing season by protecting over-wintering crops with straw and covering early crops with fleece.

The ireland diet is based on a wide variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, fish, traditional soda breads and cheeses. These foods are eaten in a variety of ways and provide a high level of nutritional value to the diet, and are a major source of vitamin C, magnesium, iodine, potassium and calcium.


Ireland’s temperate climate makes it the perfect place to raise cattle, sheep and pigs. These animals are the backbone of the Irish economy.

Meat is a staple food in the ireland diet, especially red meat, such as beef, pork and lamb. It contributes a high proportion of protein, iron, calcium and iodine to the diet.

Grains were also an important part of the Irish diet. Oats were the most popular grain, either as bread or porridge.

There was a good selection of cured meats as well, including ham and beef, gammon (pigs legs) and tripe. Other meat dishes included Dublin coddle, a bacon, sausage and potato soup which was served at lunchtime.

There is now a growing movement of nutritionists and health professionals who are questioning the current dietary advice on meat and how it impacts health and environmental sustainability. This is a critical time for the meat industry, to work together with other stakeholders to educate consumers and win the battle against misleading information.


Dairy products have been an essential part of the Irish diet for centuries. Ireland is a country with an abundance of cows, sheep and goats, allowing dairy farmers to provide high quality milk for cheese production.

The milk produced from these animals is rich in nutrients, providing a significant contribution to the intake of calcium, riboflavin, vitamin B12, phosphorus, selenium, vitamin A and iodine. These are essential for healthy growth and development, and are particularly important in pregnant women.

The dairy industry in Ireland focuses on the extraction of bioactive ingredients from milk with specific nutritional properties that can be incorporated into functional foods. These have been scientifically substantiated to offer health benefits to consumers.


In a world where global diets are becoming less healthy, fish is the one food that can make a real difference to our health. The nutritional value of fish can help to reduce cholesterol, heart disease and cancer.

In Ireland, fish has been a staple part of the diet for centuries and is now making a comeback across the country. Seafood is now being reintroduced to restaurant menus and supermarket shelves all over the country, so it’s more important than ever that Irish people get their share of this nutritious protein every week.

A new survey found that Irish people consume less than a quarter of the recommended weekly amount of fish. This is a significant concern as the consumption of oily fish (swordfish, tuna and marlin) has been linked to a reduction in the risk of cardiovascular disease.