IELTS Topic Vocabulary for Speaking test: Food and Diet

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Hi, everyone!

It’s been a long time since I posted an article with topic vocabulary. If you are first time visitor of my website – I post articles  and give links to interesting materials helping you to learn vocabulary and prepare for speaking test. I do it because 1) this is the way that helps me to learn English and improve my speaking skills; 2) I’d like to help other IELTS test takers since I’ve been through it and I know how difficult it can be to pass this test.

This one is about food and diet – another common topic from IELTS speaking test.

What you will find in this article:

  • Common questions from Part1,2 and 3 of speaking test.
  • Collocations, words and phrases that will help you to talk about food and diet.
  • How other people tell stories related to food  and its role in our life.
  • Links to useful materials which you can use to read articles, listen podcasts and watch video about foods and diet.
  • Vocabulary from sub-topics and related areas such as: healthy eating, cooking, recipes, junk food, fast food, components of healthy diet, different types of foods – veggies, fruits, drinks, meat.

Part 1 Sample Questions 

  • Can you cook?
  • Who does the cooking in your family?
  • What is your main meal in the day?
  • On what occasions do you eat special foods?
  • Which foods from your country do most foreign people enjoy?


  • Do you eat much junk food?
  • Is there any kind of healthy food you which don’t like?
  • What is the most famous food from your country? (Can you describe it?)
  • How often do people eat out where you  come from?
  • Do you like to cook?

Part 2 Sample Question: Cue Card

Talk about your favourite food. You should say:

  • what the food is
  • what it is made of
  • why you like it

and explain why it is your favourite food.

Describe a food item you know how to cook. You should say:

  • what the food is
  • how you learned to cook it
  • how do you cook it

and explain how important for you to cook home made meals?

Part 3 Sample Questions 

  • Tell me about the types of food that people eat in your country (What foods are popular in your country?)
  • How are the eating habits now in your country different from eating habits in the past?
  • How healthy is your country’s food?
  • What  are some of your favourite foods?
  • What are some of the famous dishes in your country?
  • Do you enjoy cooking?

Reading: Food and Cooking Vocabulary | What healthy food Do You Cook For Your Family on a Budget?

  • on a budget
  • butter chicken with brown rice
  • doesn’t take long
  • sauce left for two more meals
  • roasted vegetables


  • supre cheap at only …
  • enough for 3 meals
  • balanced portion
  • being in a budget
  • how many different meals you can come up with using just basic ingredients


  • root vegetables
  • potatoes
  • rice
  • pasta chicken
  • rice and bean dishes


  • affordable
  • staple ingredients = a main  or important element, especially of a diet
  • uncooked rise
  • canned beans
  • canned tomatoes


  • easy to store
  • easy to divide into smaller portions
  • freeze well
  • cereal
  • can be made with seasonings


  • leftovers can be thrown in too
  • I usually make it with …
  • sometimes I add…
  • carrots
  • cabbages


  • sausages
  • meatballs
  • chillies
  • corns
  • tomatoes


  • whatever’s in the fridge
  • beans  porridge
  • depends on what available
  • it is made by blending ….  with …
  • onions


  • crayfish
  • paprika
  • last 2 days for a family of 4
  • the healthiest whole grain carb you can get
  • canned eatables


  • carrots
  • peas
  • green beans
  • mixed veggies
  • frozen vegetables


  • broccoli florets
  • brussels sprouts
  • canned fruits
  • peaches
  • pears


  • pineapple
  • chicken breasts
  • grilled chicken
  • fried rice



What healthy food do you cook for your family on a budget? |

Reading: Food and Diet Vocabulary | Why Do So Many People Like To Eat Junk Food Even If They Know It’s Bad For Their Health?


  • it contains lots of sugars, fat or proteins
  • it gives us a lot of nutrients
  • it’s better to live a bit cheaper
  • we get obese
  • cheap and convenient/ready to eat


  • it’s bad for health
  • health awareness is growing
  • less people it junks
  • Mc Donald’s experiencing sales drop
  • not enough nutrition, exercise, sleep and relaxation


  • food they can afford
  • fats and sugar release dopamine (brings pleasure)
  • chemicals added to food
  • prone to addiction
  • realise that food is just energy


  • it’s cheaper than regular food
  • it gives a feeling of being full
  • sugar usually present in high amounts
  • creates addicting effect
  • tastes good


  • contains a lot of additives
  • can’t resist the temptation
  • in today’s society there is so much pressure
  • a way to release the pressure
  • we feel happy


  • body release pleasure chemicals
  • a break from our everyday worries
  • it’s bad for them
  • to relieve the mental anguish
  • something to eat now


  • cooking something myself will take too long
  • go for fast food
  • can cause a lot of health problems
  • it have a really good taste
  • bad for our body


Why do so many people like to eat junk food? |

Reading: Food and Diet Vocabulary | What Are Some Good Cooking Recipes For Holiday Season?

Handmade Easter Chocolates

  • stir room temperature butter until …
  • combine butter with…
  • pour chocolate mixture into
  • refrigerate and allow to thicken
  • cut into squares
  • coat squares into …
  • decorate as desired

Ridiculously easy dinner rolls

  • get a pack of dinner rolls from the supermarket
  • spread softened butter on top of each roll
  • sprinkle with rosemary and some course sea salt
  • warm up in the oven for a few minutes

Buttermilk mashed potatoes

  • in a large pot, boil 4 quarters of water and 2 tablespoon of salt
  • cut the potatoes into cubes
  • add them to the boiling water
  • lower the heat
  • simmer uncovered for 10-15 min
  • …until the potatoes fall apart easily
  • heat the milk and butter in a small saucepan
  • make sure it doesn’t boil
  • set aside until the potatoes are done
  • drain the potatoes
  • mash with hand masher
  • stir in the hot milk-and-butter mixture with a whisk
  • add enough buttermilk
  • add 2 teaspoons salt and the pepper
  • serve hot

Perfect roast turkey

  • preheat oven to 350 degree
  • take giblets out of the turkey
  • wash the turkey inside and out
  • remove any excess fat
  • place the turkey in a large roasting pan
  • liberally salt and pepper the inside of the turkey cavity
  • stuff the cavity with ….
  • brush the outside of the turkey with
  • tie the legs together with string
  • peel and slice the onions
  • toss onions with 1/4 cup olive oil
  • scatter them around turkey
  • roast the turkey in 1 hour


What are some good cooking recipes for the holiday season |

Reading: Food and Diet Vocabulary | The Elements of a Healthy Diet, & How to Change

  • to eat a healthy diet
  • gives your body nutrients it needs
  • too many calories leads to obesity
  • proteins (amino acids)
  • healthy fats
  • carbs for energy
  • vitamins empty calories
  • and minerals
  • fiber is good
  • spinach gives you fiber
  • half a loaf of white bread
  • it’s just a small part of your diet

greens – green leafy vegetables

  • kale
  • spinach
  • brocoli
  • bok choy
  • mustard greens
  • green bell peppers
  • romaine lettuce

red, yellow & orange fruits & veggies

  • carrots
  • squash
  • tomatoes
  • red and yellow bell peppers
  • sweet potatoes
  • pumpkin
  • corn
  • mango
  • orange
  • apricot
  • bananas
  • papaya

onions & garlic


nuts and seeds

  • walnuts
  • almonds
  • cashews
  • pumpkin seeds
  • chia seeds
  • quinoa


  • fish
  • poultry


  • berries
  • apples
  • stone fruit (peaches, apricots, plums)
  • tropical fruits: mango, papaya, starfruit, banana, coconut

healthy fats

  • walnuts
  • canola oil
  • sunflower seeds
  • sesame seeds
  • chia seeds
  • olive oil
  • fish
  • avocado
  • whole grain wheat
  • soybeans

whole grains

  • flourless bread
  • cereals
  • brown rice
  • steel-cut oats
  • amaranth


  •  avoid sugar drinks
  • avoid alcohol
  • black coffe
  • tea
  • green juice
  • red wine
  • water



  • processed food
  • nutrients dense with a lot of vitamins, minerals and fibre
  • fruit instead of baked desserts
  • snacks
  • big, hearty salad


The Elements of a Healthy Diet, & How to Change | zen

Podcast: Food and Diet Vocabulary | What Australians Eat

Be sure to visit a website where you can find more than 50 podcast episodes about Australia recorded by Rob McCormack. Not only they will be easy to understand and but also  useful for those who learn vocabulary for typical IELTS speaking topics. In his podcast episodes, Rob don’t speak fast. He has clear pronunciation. I would highly recommend his website for beginner and intermediate learners of English. Lots of interesting facts about Australia and  lots of audio materials to help you with basic topics vocabulary, such as food, clothes, hobby, education, family etc.

What I also like in his podcasts is that the structure of  episodes and his stories is very close to the format and of answers you are expected to demonstrate on your IELTS  speaking test. For example, Rob uses this structure: idea->explain->example and each episode has intro and outro. He provides a lot of phrases, collocations, adjectives and verbs for each topic and uses both simple and complex sentence structures.

What’s more, in each blogpost you can find list of vocabulary with definitions and even take a quiz to help you remember words and phrases!

You can take a look at one of the episodes. Click this link and listen the episode called What Australians Eat |

Below  is the short list of food related vocabulary used in the episode I mentioned above.

  • quality  food
  • relatively cheap
  • just about anything
  • fresh
  • choosing foods which are not good for their health


  • fast food
  • if you are hungry
  • local supermarket
  • fresh fruit and vegetables
  • depending on what is in season at the time


  • weekly groceries
  • apples
  • oranges
  • bananas
  • kiwi
  • fresh berries


  • fresh fruit salad
  • it’s great for a snack
  • for desert at mealtimes

fresh meat

  • beef
  • chicken
  • pork
  • fish
  • my family’s favourite meat


  • juicy beef stake cooked on a barbecue
  • barbecued outside on a warm simmer evening
  • microwaved vegetables
  • mixed salad
  • corn


  • potatoes
  • eating less and less fruits and vegetables
  • health survey
  • eat no vegetables at all
  • eat recommended amount of vegetables


  • gets energy from highly processed food
  • alcohol
  • cakes
  • lolies
  • cereal bars


  • pastry
  • biscuits
  • soft drinks
  • move away from fresh foods



What Australians Eat |

Click to download from iTunes

Podcast: Food and Diet Vocabulary | Taking on Major Food Companies

This is really interesting and inspiring podcast episode. I want to share it with you because you are going to find a lot of surprising facts about food we eat and a story of one person (Vani) who managed to change her own life by taking action and moving to healthy eating. You will also know  how she managed to encourage hundreds of people to confront multi-billion food  manufacturing companies and make changes  to the food system. Moreover, while listening the episode you will learn lots of food and diet related vocabulary.

By the way, in this episode you can find some useful words and phrases to help you with another topic: Health.

  • health and food awareness
  • changing food system
  • health consciousness
  • nutrition information
  • health classes


  • standard American diet
  • eat what everybody else were eating
  • she would cook Indian food from scratch
  • allowed us to eat whatever we wanted
  • I grew up on fast food


  • processed food
  • there were no rules
  • skinny kids
  • I had a lot of health issues
  • my stomach hurt every single morning


  • they took me to the doctors
  • I was all on those prescription drugs
  • rockbottom moment
  • doing takeout
  • we would work through lunch, breakfast


  • started eating donuts
  • gained a lot of weight
  • became very stressed out
  • not the type of  lifestyle I want to live
  • did not feel good about myself
  • food that disrupt your digestive system


  • disrupt your gut bacteria
  • I had my appendix taken out
  • long recovery
  • really out of shape
  • baked goodies


  • books on nutrition
  • full of additives
  • make us want to buy and at it more
  • tricks that food industry was employing
  • tech myself how to cook


  • oak milk
  • adopt healthy lifestyle
  • thing that caused western lifestyle
  • people would see me with green drink at work
  • organic restaurant
  • kale


Taking On Major Food Companies And Being A Champion For Health – With Vani Hari |

Right click save as to download mp3

Video: Food and Diet Vocabulary | Jamie Oliver. Teach Every Child about Food

Watch this video of Jamie Oliver talking about shocking facts about health problems, obesity  and modern food system and his view on how we should change this reality by teaching our children about food.

I have a daughter and I what her to live long and healthy life. How I can ensure this? Without a doubt, I must be an role model showing how to choose proper food, how to cook and what kind of food to avoid and why…

I noticed, somehow things that affect us emotionally are remembered better rather than something we are not interested in. That’s why I included this video in my post. Hopefully, it will make you to watch fantastic talks from more often, genuinely enjoy English  and improve your language skills.


Jamie Oliver: Teach Every Child About Food |

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Video: Food and Diet Vocabulary | What’s Wrong With What We Eat

  • livestock
  • shopping green
  • looking for organic
  • semi-vegetarian
  • lifestyle diseases


  • diabetes
  • heart disease
  • stroke
  • some cancers
  • more prevalent


  • demand for meat
  • dairy and refined carbohydrates
  • to consume way more calories
  • health crisis
  • poultry


  • junk food
  • plants promote health
  • creating unnatural demand
  • health- and Earth-friendly diet



Mark Bittman: What’s Wrong With What We Eat |

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