HomeIELTS WritingWriting VocabularyVocabulary for IELTS Writing: Topic Food

Vocabulary for IELTS Writing: Topic Food

You can come across this topic in virtually any part of IELTS. You are often asked about food in the Speaking part where you might expect questions about your favorite type of meal, desert, restaurant, or international customs around cooking and eating. In part 3 of the speaking section you might be asked to talk about nutritional aspects, the relation between proper diet and health, etc. Food is also a rather popular topic for Writing Section #2 where you can expect to write in depth about causes and effects of obesity. So let’s start our food vocabulary training.

International Cuisines

Our globalized world is giving us unique opportunities to share various international cuisines. Most modern large cities offer a wide variety of restaurants of particular cuisines: Italian, French, Chinese, Thai, and others. In addition it’s a popular topic in IELTS. For this reason to score high you have to develop vocabulary to speak about your diet and food preferences. It is equally important to use proper adjectives, provide examples, but I warn you again not to memorize any sentences or paragraphs. Remember that at your exam you have to speak naturally!

Example :

I love the simplicity of Italian food with only a few ingredients but of extraordinary quality. Fresh tomatoes and basil, olive oil and Prosciutto de Parma are typical Italian products.

Coriander, ginger, cardamom, and saffron are very typical flavors for Indian cuisine. I usually order hot curries with lots of chilli and a side of raita to cool down. Many Indian dishes are prepared with rice, vegetables, and seafood.

Healthy Food

Nowadays we often hear about the importance of maintaining balanced and healthy diet.

It means that we need to think carefully about what we eat and prefer nutrient dense food. But what is food rich in nutrients? Nutrients are the substances in food that our body processes in order to function.

Example :

Good nutrition – a well-balanced diet combined with regular physical activity is a cornerstone of good health.

And what are good examples of healthy food?

Whole grains are a trendy group of widely discussed ingredients. So let’s discuss what a wholegrain product is. According to an official definition whole grains or foods made of them contain all the essential parts and naturally occurring nutrients of the entire grain seed in their original proportions. Basically products made with whole grains are as good as the original seeds.

Some examples of whole grains:

Wheat, wild rice, barley, corn, millet, buckwheat, oats, etc.

Fiber is another important component of healthy diet. It’s found in cereals, fruits, and vegetables, and contributes to keeping our digestive system healthy.

There is another interesting expression often used by healthy food advocates – ‘Eat the rainbow’. It is a simple way to remind us that we need to consume more varieties of vegetables of all colors.

Eating Disorder and Unhealthy Food

When we talk about eating disorders, obesity is the first thing to mention here. Obesity is currently among the biggest health problems in the world. It triggers various diseases which combined kill millions of people every year.

There are several words to be used to describe excessive weight: obesity, overweight, adiposity.

Example :

Children become overweight and obese for a variety of reasons. The most common causes are poor dietary habits modeled at home, lack of physical activity, and unhealthy eating patterns.

Psychological disorders which obesity may trigger include depression, eating disorders, and low self-esteem.

Now let’s discuss what causes excessive weight and obesity and learn some specific vocabulary.

Firstly it’s poor dietary habits modeled at home.

Example :Offsprings of obese parents are much more likely to become obese than offsprings of lean parents.

Secondly it’s the quality of food we consume.

Example : For decades processed food has been getting cheaper, while fruits and vegetables have been getting more expensive.

Thirdly it’s the addictive nature of engineered food.

Example : Nowadays products are engineered to be cheap and last long on the shelf. They are developed to be incredibly tasty so that we can never get enough.

But what are the potential risks of obesity? Engineered food is very dangerous since it can cause a number of diseases such as diabetes, cancer, stroke, and others.

Now I suggest that we go through some additional vocabulary. All the words are grouped according to their meaning. If any of them are unfamiliar to you, look their definitions up in the dictionary. I also advise that you come up with several examples to memorize them better.

Food Idioms

  • To be dying of hunger – exaggeration of saying that you are hungry
  • To have a sweet tooth – to love sugary foods To take the biscuit – refers to something very annoying or irritating
  • To know on which side your bread is buttered – to know where your interests lie
  • To take the bread out of smb’s mouth – take away smb’s means to earn a living
  • To butter someone up – to flatter, be very nice to someone, usually for selfish reasons
  • Piece of cake – something very easy Like chalk and cheese – completely different
  • Cry over spilled milk – get upset over something that cannot be changed
  • That’s the way the cookie crumbles – that’s the way it is and nothing can be done about it
  • Tough cookie – a self-confident ambitious person who will do what is necessary to get what they want.
  • Can’t make an omelet without breaking eggs – it is impossible to make important change without causing some unpleasant effects
  • To eat humble pie – to be forced to admit that you did something wrong and apologize

That’s basically it for this delicious chapter of our vocabulary booster coarse.


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