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Food-based dietary guidelines

Food-based dietary guidelines - The Netherlands

Official name

Dutch dietary guidelines 2015 (Dutch: Richtlijnen Schijf van Vijf).

Publication year

The guidelines and the food guide were revised and updated in 2015-2016. The previous edition of the guidelines was published in 2006.

Process and stakeholders

An expert committee developed an advisory report which describes the current level of knowledge about the relationship between diet and chronic disease and makes associated recommendations about a healthy dietary pattern. The Health Council of the Netherlands’ Standing Committee on Public Health and Standing Committee on Health Care revised and endorsed the report. The expert committee received significant assistance from various sources, including the Netherlands Nutrition Centre, the National Institute of Public Health and the Environment and underwent a public consultation process.

Based on the guidelines derived from the report, the Netherlands Nutrition Center was responsible for developing the relevant public information materials and the food guide. 

Intended audience

The guidelines have been formulated with the general population in mind. Certain population groups require specific dietary advice: the Council will accordingly be producing separate reports concerning children below the age of two and concerning pregnant women.

The guidelines document is used by professionals, particularly health providers and nutritionists. The food guide, is used for public education.

Food guide

The food-based dietary guidelines are represented by a circle (Dutch: Schijf van Vijf). The circle is divided into four food groups and one beverage group. Fruits and vegetables and breads, cereals and potatoes cover more than half of the circle. Animal source foods, spreads and cooking fats comprise a much smaller part. Water and other beverages such as tea, and coffee complete the circle.


  • Follow a dietary pattern that involves eating more plant-based and less animal-based food, as recommended in the guidelines
  • Eat at least 200 grams of vegetables and at least 200 grams of fruit daily
  • Eat at least 90 grams of brown bread, wholemeal bread or other wholegrain products daily
  • Eat legumes weekly
  • Eat at least 15 grams of unsalted nuts daily
  • Take a few portions of dairy produce daily, including milk or yogurt
  • Eat one serving of fish weekly, preferably oily fish
  • Drink three cups of tea daily
  • Replace refined cereal products by whole-grain products
  • Replace butter, hard margarines, and cooking fats by soft margarines, liquid cooking fats, and vegetable oils
  • Replace unfiltered coffee by filtered coffee
  • Limit the consumption of red meat, particularly processed meat
  • Minimise consumption of sugar-containing beverages
  • Don´t drink alcohol or no more than one glass daily
  • Limit salt intake to 6 grams daily
  • Nutrient supplements are not needed, except for specific groups for which supplementation applies



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