Food-based dietary guidelines

Food-based dietary guidelines - Germany

Official name

Ten guidelines for wholesome eating and drinking from the German Nutrition Society (German: Vollwertig essen und trinken nach den 10 Regeln der DGE).

Publication year

The German dietary guidelines were first published in 1956 and have been regularly updated since then. The current version was published in 2013.

Process and stakeholders

The German Nutrition Society is responsible for developing dietary guidelines for the country. They are endorsed by the Ministries of Health and Agriculture.

Intended audience

The German guidelines are targeted at the general healthy population.

Food guide

Germany uses the nutrition circle as its food guide. The nutrition circle is divided into six food groups: cereals and potatoes; vegetables; fruits; milk and dairy products; meat, sausages, fish and eggs; and fats and oils. The size of the group segments decreases from the first to the last group, thus illustrating the relative quantities of the individual food groups. A seventh group (water and beverages), represented by a glass of water, is placed in the middle of the nutrition circle.


  • Enjoy a variety of foods.
  • Eat plenty of cereals, preferably wholegrain, and potatoes.
  • Vegetables and fruits – eat ‘five-a-day’.
  • Eat milk and dairy products every day; fish once or twice a week; and meat, sausages and eggs in moderation.
  • Eat small quantities of fat and high-fat foods.
  • Eat/use sugar and salt only occasionally and in moderation.
  • Drink plenty of fluids, at least 1.5 litres every day.
  • Do not overcook your meals.
  • Allow plenty of time for eating and enjoy mealtimes.
  • Watch your weight and stay active.



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