Food-based dietary guidelines

Food-based dietary guidelines - Germany

Official name

Ten guidelines of the German Nutrition Society for a wholesome diet (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 2017 and it is expected to be updated by 2022.

Stakeholder involvement

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

Products, resources and target audiences


Target audience

Ten guidelines of the German Nutrition Society (DGE) for a wholesome diet (in 8 languages)

Consumers, nutrition counsellors, therapists, educators and trainers

DGE nutrition circle (food guide)

Consumers, nutrition counsellors, therapists, educators and trainers

Three dimensional food pyramid (educational tool)

Consumers, nutrition counsellors, therapists, educators and trainers

Websites, information sheets, flyers posters, brochures and social media campaigns

Consumers, nutrition counsellors, therapists, educators and trainers

The DGE nutrition circle—presentation and basis of the food recommendations from the German Nutrition Society 

Academic community, policy makers, health professionals

Development process

The aim of the German FBDGs is to summarise how a health-promoting diet can be implemented in everyday life and provide consumers with simple rules of conduct. 

A committee formed by the German Nutrition Society (DGE) consisting of scientists from nutrition science and related disciplines developed the current guidelines based on D-A-CH reference values for nutrient intake and prevention of non-communicable diseases. Ecological aspects, physical activity and mindful eating/enjoyment were also considered. In the course of time the FBDG have been updated due to scientific evidence.


There is currently no official FBDG implementation plan.


Studies have been conducted by researchers to determine the level of FBDGs awareness in consumers.

There is no official monitoring and evaluation plan for the FBDGs. 


Environmental aspects are broadly addressed in the 10 rules in terms of mindful eating, sustainable food preparation and physical activity. 

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.


The German guidelines are targeted at the general healthy population.

  • 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.