In the Netherlands the ‘Schijf van Vijf’ was first introduced in 1953 by the Food Information Centre as a guideline for healthy every day eating. Recently the new Circle of Five has been introduced.
You go through your whole life with your body. This is why you should take care of it as good as possible. But how do you do that? If you eat according to the Dutch Circle of Five, do you eat enough of all products that are healthy, plus all needed foods to stay fit for the day to come?
The Circle of Five consists of 5 categories from which you can choose products. The idea is that you choose each day enough from each category and vary often so that your body receives what it needs. What do you feel like eating today? Broccoli or chicory? And will you have fish, legumes or meat? Does it go better with pasta, potatoes or couscous? Do you prefer milk or yogurt?
If you like to cook a Dutch pot or are fond of oriental cuisine, or if you are a vegetarian or prefer a piece of meat, you will find endless possibilities in the Circle of Five. You can follow your tastes and pick what you like from the Circle of Five, that is how it is supposed to be used.
The circle of five has been changed a few times since 1953. Every time it was adjusted according the latest findings and beliefs. It started off with a large part dedicated to milk and milk products (next to a part for meat, fish and eggs), and now you can see milk products have been integrated in the protein section. Originally the part for fat products had the same size as the fruit and vegetables part. Now you can see the difference in sizes.
The information they want to get across is that the core of the Circle of Five consists of products that are good for your body. For example, it should reduce the chance of heart disease and cancer. When you eat according to the Circle of Five, you receive enough minerals, vitamins, proteins, carbohydrates, fats and fibers. Do not choose too often products outside the Circle of Five to stay fit and increase the chance of growing old healthy. Furthermore, respecting the Circle of Five is better for the environment. That is what it proffers.
However the oversimplification of the nutrition can be misleading. For example, no quantities are given. Should you see it like that, that you should eat as much meat as you drink water?
It would be good also to include the references to the studies and scientific proofs mentioned. And an explanation why using the Circle of Five would be good for the environment.
(Click here for a personal perspective on the ‘Schijf van Vijf’)
Translation and editing for Eindhoven News: Laurent Khuat