October 9, 2019

New Dietary guidelines for the Belgian adult population Publication of the Belgian Superior Health Council

On October 1st a scientific advisory report was published by the Superior Health Council of Belgium which provides Food Based Dietary Guidelines (FBDG) for the Belgian adult population. The advise offers guidance to public health policy-makers.

In the report practical guidelines are drawn up for different foods and eating patterns. They are mainly targeted at the adult, healthy population. Also the advisory report addresses sustainability considerations and social issues regarding the link between eating habits, health and well-being. It further looks at how to improve communication on nutrition with the target audience. The advisory report contains five key messages:

- Eat at least 125 g of whole-grain products every day and replace refined products with whole-grain products.

- Eat 250 g of fruit every day and give preference to fresh fruit and eat 300 g of vegetables daily (fresh or prepared) and diversify your choices according to seasonal availability.

- Eat legumes at least once a week.

- Eat 15 to 25 g of plain nuts or seeds (without salt of sweet coating) every day

- Limit salt intake.

In another key message fats and fatty acids are taken into account: Choose polyunsaturated fatty acids, in particular omega-3 fatty acids. Choose rapeseed, soybean and walnut oils and eat nuts and seeds. Choose non-tropical oils, spreads and liquid cooking fats instead of hard margarines and butter.

Specificly the Health Council recommends that 5-10 % of adult energy intake should come from polyunsaturated fatty acids, including 4-8 % as omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids and 1-2 % as omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids. The Council suggests that the ideal proportion of polyunsaturated fatty acids in the diet should not be less than 12 % of energy intake. Also to limit the consumption of products high in saturated fatty acids and avoid trans fatty acids as much as possible.


On the one hand, the consumption in Belgium of spreadable and cooking fats shows a positive trend in the sense that it has dropped significantly compared to 2004. On the other hand, the consumption of oils high in omega-3 fatty acids and olive oil should be further promoted, as it accounted for well under half of the total consumption of spreadable and cooking fats. The consumption of fats high in saturated fatty acids and foods that contain them remained too high (13en%) and should be further reduced. The intake of trans fatty acids is well below 1 en%.

Click here for the full report.



Last modified: October 10, 2019