Dutch people eat more healthy foods: more plant products, less red and processed meat (2024)

Dutch people are eating and drinking more healthily. We know this because of RIVM’s new Dutch National Food Consumption Survey (Voedselconsumptiepeiling, VCP). Dutch people are eating more plant products, like fruit and vegetables, unsalted nuts and legumes. They are eating less red and processed meat. They are also drinking fewer sugary drinks.

Both children and adults are eating and drinking more healthily. However, most Dutch people are not following the Dutch dietary guidelines yet. This is less good news. In the Dutch dietary guidelines, the Health Council of the Netherlands describes which foods and eating habits lead to a healthier life. The advice is to eat enough fruit, vegetables and wholegrain products, like bread.

Much more fruit and vegetables

The new VCP (2019–2021) shows that Dutch people (aged between 7 and 69) are eating more vegetables a day. The VCP for 2007–2010 showed that Dutch people ate 128 grams a day. In 2012–2016, this was 135 grams. It is now 163 grams. The percentage of adults who follow the guideline for vegetables has now doubled to 29%. In the last survey, this was 16%. Dutch people are also eating more fruit: first 103, then 117 and now 129 grams a day.

Less meat, fewer sugary drinks

At the same time, Dutch people are eating much less red and processed meat: more than 20% less than shown in the VCP for 2007–2010. They are also drinking fewer sugary drinks (such as soft drinks and fruit juices). The number of grams per day has fallen from 382 in 2012–2016 to 240 grams. At the same time, they are drinking more tea and water.

About the Dutch National Food Consumption Survey

RIVM has performed the Dutch National Food Consumption Survey (DNSFCS) among 3,500 children and adults. The DNFCS shows what, where and when Dutch people eat and drink and compares this to the Health Council guidelines. With this data, policymakers and professionals can work on healthy nutrition, sustainable and safe food education and food research. Go to the website WateetNederland.nl for details.

Dutch people eat more healthy foods: more plant products, less red and processed meat (2024)


Do Dutch people have a healthy diet? ›

Dutch people are eating more plant products, like fruit and vegetables, unsalted nuts and legumes. They are eating less red and processed meat. They are also drinking fewer sugary drinks. Both children and adults are eating and drinking more healthily.

Do Dutch people eat meat? ›

So the vast majority of Dutch people do eat meat, but by no means every day: 22 percent eat meat, but choose a main meal without meat or fish three or more days a week (those in this group are also known as 'flexitarians'). A further 43 percent eat a vegetarian main meal once or twice a week.

What foods do Dutch people eat? ›

Typical Dutch dishes are stamppot boerenkool (mashed kale), Hutspot (stew of potatoes and carrots), erwtensoep (split pea soup) and bruine bonensoep (brown bean soup). Food which isn't typically Dutch, but which is 'seen' as Dutch are dishes like nasi (Indonesian dish) and bami (Chinese dish).

What is the Dutch food policy? ›

The Dutch government's food policy is aimed at promoting healthy and responsible food. It encourages the food industry to produce food that contains less salt, fat and sugar.

What is the Dutch Diet 13 days? ›

It is a 13-day diet, which promises incredible weight loss of up to 22lbs / 10kg during this period. As a firm rule, you'll need to limit your calorie intake to a maximum of 600 per day, while eating high-protein and low-fat food.

Why is Netherlands the healthiest country? ›

According to the index “Good Enough to Eat,” the Netherlands emerged the leader thanks to relatively low food prices, low prevalence of diabetes, and better nutritional diversity than its European rivals.

Do Dutch eat potatoes? ›

Preparing potatoes

In the Netherlands, however, the potato most commonly appears mashed in one of a myriad of varieties of stamppot or sliced in the ubiquitous ovenschotel – oven dish. In the spring, a boiled potato with white asparagus is also considered a delicacy.

Do Dutch eat dairy? ›

Due to the availability of water and flat grassland, the Dutch diet contains many dairy products such as cheese and butter, and is relatively high in carbohydrates and fat.

Do Dutch eat raw fish? ›

'Haringhappen': the Dutch tradition of eating raw herring. What is depicted here is the way the Dutch traditionally eat herring. Holding on to its tail and eating it in a few bites. Usually this dish is served with chopped pieces of raw onion and sometimes pickles.

What is a typical Dutch breakfast? ›

With a typical Dutch breakfast is often buttermilk, melk, coffee, tea, fresh juice or optimel Drunk. Dutch people who prefer not to start their day with bread often choose yogurt or cereals, such as muesli or cornflakes with milk, yogurt or cottage cheese.

What is a Dutch lunch? ›

A Dutch lunch is a light meal that is typically eaten in the Netherlands between 12 and 2 p.m. It often consists of bread, cheese, and other cold cuts, as well as fruit, vegetables, and coffee or tea. A Dutch lunch is typically more substantial than a snack, but less so than a full meal.

How do the Dutch eat cheese? ›

Cheese is typically enjoyed with fresh bread. But you can also eat it plain or dip it in mustard. It's good enough to have as a meal on its own, and many Dutch folks do just that at lunch.

What is Dutch for a meal? ›

: to go to a movie, restaurant, etc., as a group with each person paying for his or her own ticket, food, etc. We went Dutch on dinner.

What are the eating habits of the Dutch? ›

Dutch food culture is heavily based on meat, bread and potatoes. It is not unusual for the Dutch to eat bread in the morning and afternoon, and end the day with potatoes, vegetables and meat.

What is the Dutch treat rule? ›

The term stems from restaurant dining etiquette in the Western world, where each person pays for their meal. It is also called Dutch date, Dutch treat (the oldest form, a pejorative), and doing Dutch.

Are Dutch healthier than Americans? ›

And the U.S. didn't even make the top 20. The Netherlands came out on top because of low diabetes rates, low food prices and nutritional diversity.

Does the Netherlands have an obesity problem? ›

In 2021, around half of the Dutch population aged 18 years and over were overweight. Of this group, 36 percent were moderately and 14 percent severely overweight (obesity).

What is the healthiest diet culture in the world? ›

Healthiest Cuisines in the World
  1. 1. Japanese. Japanese culture tends to eat well in small portions with colorful vegetables and they strive to eat very healthy and using seasonal ingredients and flavors. ...
  2. Indian. ...
  3. South Mediterranean (Italian and Greek) ...
  4. Korean. ...
  5. Ethiopian. ...
  6. Nordic Scandinavian. ...
  7. Vietnamese. ...
  8. Lebanese.
Jan 23, 2023

What are the Dutch health beliefs? ›

The philosophy underpinning the Dutch health care system is based on several more or less universal principles: access to care for all, solidarity through medical insurance (which is compulsory for all and available to all) and high-quality health care services.


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