Monday, April 20, 2020

New Dietary Guidelines + My Review

This is a free translation from Dutch Health Ministry's dietary guidelines.

Fruit and Veg:

at least 200g of vegetables. That's about what we usually eat every day anyway.

at least 200g of fruit. This one was new for me though we normally eat fruit every day, like one apple, one banana etc. Fruit is expensive, btw, and there has been some info passed around that too much can be bad for you, I even once posted a video on this topic. However, I've done some research which points out that fruit has lots of fibre and won't raise your blood sugar too much unless you eat tons of it/drink fruit juice instead. Definitely something to work on.

Fat and Oil:

Substitute butter and hard margarine with liquid margarine/vegetable oils.

This one is kinda strange. There is a difference between health effects of eating butter vs hard margarine or olive oil vs other vegetable oils vs butter. I would say, avoid all forms of margarine and probably most of the oils except virgin olive oil, cold pressed. Some butter is OK. There is some controversy going on whether to cook with virgin olive oil,  personally I use it for cooking/baking.


Eat  (preferably fatty) fish once a week. Twice a week is even better, imo, and that's what we usually do (sometimes thrice even). Since fresh fish is expensive I chiefly buy frozen and canned.


Substitute refined with unrefined, like brown rice, whole grains etc. Eat at least 90g of  unrefined carbs per dag. Not sure how they arrived at this number but agree generally.


Eat legumes every week. Agree generally, with exception of soy. Research shows eating legumes extends life.

Nuts: Eat at least 15g unsalted nuts per day. Again, not sure how they arrived at this number, but it probably won't hurt. I should admit I'm not a big fan of nuts, my husband eats a lot but salty variety (unfortunately, lol!). Something to work on?

Meat: Limit consumption of red, and especially processed meat. This is very vague. There is a difference between processed vs red meat in terms of health. They also don't tell you anything as to how much to limit it. I think there was a research called Oxford research which showed that processed meats should be limited to 20g per day and they had numbers for red meat, too, but I forget how much it was. I do remember they discovered that those who ate less than 70g red meat per week had increased mortality, too. We mostly eat red meat 2-3 times a week. White meat, btw, had no correlation with mortality at all so I guess you can eat it every day, as long as it's not processed?

Dairy: Eat some portions of dairy per day, including milk and yogurt. Again, rather vague but they explain it further that they apparently mean two 150g portions of milk/yogurt. Another website said 3 portions. They also say nothing about full fat vs skim which Is good I guess. Dairy is generally good for you, unless you are lactose intolerant. There is some evidence that milk can protect you from infections, and the same is true about yogurt. (No, it doesn't increase congestion). Strangely, they say nothing about eggs. Recent research shows eating an egg a day is good for you, and 2 can't hurt, either.

Plant Protein: Eat more plant- and less animal-based protein as showed in other guidelines. Again, vague. Also, there is a difference in types of plant protein. If you substitute your daily steak with soy, you may very well become infertile, and it goes both for men and women. However, if you just eat vegetarian 1 or 2 days a week, you'll probably be fine.

Tea: (really, there is a guideline on tea consumption:) drink 3 cups of tea (450g) per day. Sometimes I do think they are pulling it out of their...wherever. Of, course, there is nothing wrong with drinking tea and I think they want people to consume more tea than coffee or sugary/alcoholic drinks, which is fine, but why only black/green tea? I'm caffeine intolerant and mostly drink herbal teas or water with honey and I don't think my health suffered because of black tea avoidance:)

Sugary Drinks: avoid sugary drinks as much as possible. Agree fully.

Alcohol: none or in any case, no more than 1 drink a day. They are probably right on this one, too.

Salt: 6g per day. Not sure about this one so won't comment.

Supplements: Not necessary unless recommended. Disagree, Vitamins/supplements can often improve your health in many ways. Agree that you shouldn't just blindly take them whenever you feel like it but do some research and exercise caution. I think we benefited greatly from cod liver oil, personally, and probably everyone in our climate should supplement with some vitD in winter.

Well, that's about all. Thoughts?



  1. Post Alley CrackpotApril 21, 2020 at 11:29 AM

    I have a simpler version: don't eat ersatz food.

    As for my diet, it's a keto-light diet where most of my calories and energy comes from eating fats, with some decent meat protein and some vegetables.

    Just as long as I'm getting enough protein and fat, the rest of the bulk can be pretty much anything that's not going to trash my efforts.

    The "official advice" seems to be the same cargo cult "nutritionism" that's been peddled as beneficial by people who still believe that Ansel Keys wasn't confabulating most of his "shocking evidence" and charts that led to his theories about cholesterol.

    As for the advice on whole grains, it too is also dated and doesn't take into account the potential for harm caused by lectins.

    My take on this is that the Dutch health ministry has some "concern troll" bureaucrats who need to be guided into other types of work during the current economic contraction, which is also my take on the NHS in the UK, the FDA and CDC in America, and so forth. :-)

  2. Ancel Keys lived to be over 100 btw. I think it's a pretty reasonable advice. Brown bread/rice, for instance, is known to raise your blood sugar less than white version.

    As for fats...I hope you don't mean margarine or seed oils:) Our economy is doing fine, still working at 80% capacity I heard. Flours is back in the stores. Dentists are getting open next week. Fast food tents will stay closed for now so hopefully we all get healthier!