The aim of the present investigation was to study the effect of a dietary intervention which combined nutrition information with increased availability of vegetables, fruits and wholegrain bread. The effect of the intervention was determined by changes in the intake of vegetables, fruits, wholegrain bread and estimated nutrients. Furthermore, the study investigated whether changes in relative contribution from different food sources of folate were related to changes in the concentration of plasma total homocysteine (p-tHcy). The 5-month intervention study included 376 male recruits from the Norwegian National Guard, Vaernes (intervention group) and 105 male recruits from the Norwegian National Guard, Heggelia (control group). The study resulted in an increase in the total consumption of vegetables, fruits, berries and juice (P < 0·001) and of wholegrain bread (P < 0·001). The participants in the intervention group showed a higher increase in the intake of dietary fibre (P < 0·001) and folate (P < 0·001) compared with the control group. The relative contribution of folate intake from fruits, vegetables and wholegrain bread was higher in the intervention group compared with the control group (P < 0·001 for all). The increased intake of folate from wholegrain bread was inversely associated with a reduced concentration of p-tHcy (P = 0·017). In summary, the dietary intervention resulted in an increased intake of vegetables, fruits and wholegrain bread and a subsequent increase in folate intake from these food components. Reduction in the concentration of p-tHcy was significantly related to an increased folate intake due to an increased consumption of wholegrain bread.