Dieticians Made Plant-Based Alternative of Dutch Nutritional Education Model

Just as every country has its own guideline for healthy food, the Netherlands has the Disk of Five (‘Schijf van Vijf’). In March 2016 the Dutch Nutrition Centre (Voedingscentrum) introduced a new Disk of Five. This guideline contains, among other things, the recommendations to consume fruit and vegetables, whole-wheat products, less meat and more plant-based products, dairy products and a handful of unsalted nuts every day.

A group of Dutch dieticians did not agree with this, in their words ‘old-fashioned’, guideline and took it one step further. They introduced the Disc for Life (‘Schijf for Life’) with nutritional advice which is not only in line with health goals, but also with climate and environmental goals. The Dutch dieticians think that the current guideline still contains too many products with animal origin. Instead of 5 categories, the Disc for Life has 4 categories subdivided into fruit and vegetables, proteins (legumes, soy, tofu), fat (nuts, seeds, avocado) and starch products. To supplement the deficiency of B12 and D3, the Disc for Life advises to take these vitamins.

The Dutch Nutrition Centre responded to the initiative with: ‘’Whoever eats according to the Disc of Five may not follow the latest trends, but is assured of the most reliable nutritional advice available at the moment’’. They also say the Disc for Life can be used as a tool for people who only want to eat plant-based.

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