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Page | Last updated: 03 Feb 2021

Food-Based Dietary Guidelines in Europe - table 11

Summary of FBDG recommendations for oil and fats for the the EU, Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and the United Kingdom

Due care was taken to ensure factually correct information. Food groupings and food group names differ across individual FBDGs; the ones used here are a compromise to present the information in a structured way. Differences such as those in number of portions and portion sizes were kept unaltered. The original country FBDGs and the responsible national public health authorities remain the only qualified points of reference.

Country

Quantitative recommendations

Qualitative recommendations

Portion size

Belgium - Flanders

Fat spreads on bread: one tip of a knife per slice.
Meal preparation: 1 tbsp is enough.
Choose oils/fats with unsaturated fats, rather than those with saturated fats. Use mainly vegetable oils such as sunflower, rapeseed, corn and olive oil. Soft vegetable margarines are also a good idea. Do not exaggerate on the quantities. -
Notes: Rich in unsaturated fatty acids
- Dark green zone (=preferred choice): peanut / grape seed / rapeseed / nut / corn / olive / safflower / sesame / soybean / walnut / sunflower / frying (mix of vegetable) oils, soft baking and frying fats, soft margarine (spreadable at room temperature)
- Grey zone (=no preference): (light) mayonnaise, dressing, vinaigrette

Country

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Portion size

Belgium - Wallonia

- Moderate intake of added fat and nuts, vary the source. Hot use: favour olive oil, peanut oil, rapeseed oil, liquid fats, goose or duck fat, certain plant fats. Cold use: favour rapeseed oil, olive oil, soybean oil, sunflower oil. -
Notes: Cooking fats (for hot use): Favour: max. 35% SFA, MUFAs making up at least 50% total fat, max. 2% trans fatty acids, i.e. fats with little saturated and trans fatty acids, rich in MUFAs and resistant to cooking  (olive oil, peanut oil, rapeseed oil, liquid fats, goose or duck fat, certain plant fats). Tolerated: 35-45% SFAs and/or MUFAs making up <50% total fat, max. 2% trans fatty acids, i.e. fats with medium SFA or MUFA content, little trans fatty acids (grape seed oil, sunflower oil, soybean oil, corn oil, certain cooking fats). Occasionally: >45% SFAs or >2% trans fatty acids, i.e. fats rich in saturated or trans fatty acids (butter, certain hard margarines, palm oil, coconut oil). Seasoning fats (for cold use): favour: max. 1% trans fatty acids and max. 20% SFAs and max. 400 mg sodium/100 g. Spreads: at least 1/3 of the fats are PUFAs, i.e. fats with low SFA and trans fatty acids and sodium levels (rapeseed oil, olive oil, soybean oil, sunflower oil, salad dressing, mayonnaise or vinaigrette made of those oils, certain dressing sauces, certain spreads, "soy cream"). Tolerated: 20-28% SFAs and sodium 400-800 mg/100 g, i.e. fats with medium SFA or sodium levels (semi-skimmed butter, certain dressing sauces, specialities based on light cream). Occasionally: >28% SFA or sodium >800 mg/100 g, i.e. fats with elevated SFA or sodium levels (cream, certain dressing sauces, cooking cream, whipping cream, cream, coconut milk).

Country

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Qualitative recommendations

Portion size

Bulgaria

- Limit total fat intake, especially animal fat. Replace animal fats with vegetable oils when cooking. -

Czechia

Fat energy intake max. 30% of the optimum daily energy value (e.g. 70 g per day for a slightly active adult). Eat less animal fat, increase proportion of vegetable oil (esp. olive and rapeseed oil, preferably without heat treatment). Eat less foods containing coconut oil, palm (kernel) oil. Eat less high-fat animal foods (e.g. pork belly, pastries). -

Denmark

- Cut down on your consumption of saturated fat. Choose plant oils, for example rapeseed oil and olive oil, liquid margarine and soft margarine instead of butter, butter mix, and hard margarine. The Keyhole label shows the way to products lower in saturated fat. -

Country

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Portion size

Germany

60-80 g daily of total fat is sufficient. Every day, eat: 10-15 g of oil (e.g. rapeseed, walnut, or soybean oil) and 15-30 g of margarine or butter. Fat and fatty foods in moderation. Favour vegetable oils and fats (e.g. canola oil, soybean oil, margarines produced therefrom). Be aware of hidden fat. E.g. 10-15 g oil and 15-30 g butter or similar.

Estonia

6-7 portions of added fats, nuts, seeds, oilseeds. (1-2 portions of seeds, nuts, etc., 5 portions of vegetable oils, oils, spreads). Prefer oil and butter. When frying, prefer refined oils such as pork, coconut, or palm oil. Vary. Oil should not smoke when cooked. Oils richest in omega-3: rapeseed & linseed oils. 5 g oil, 5 g butter, 5 g spread (if > 50% fat), 10-15 g spread (if ≤50% fat), 5 g coconut fat, 5 g lard. 1 portion ≈ 50 kcal.

Ireland

Portion packs of fat-reduced spread found in cafes can guide the amount to use. One should be enough for 2 slices of bread. Fats, spreads and oils: use as little as possible. Choose MUFA* or PUFA** or light spreads. Choose rapeseed, olive, canola, sunflower, or corn oils. Limit mayonnaise, coleslaw and salad dressing. Always cook with as little fat or oil as possible.
* mono-unsaturated fatty acids
** poly-unsaturated fatty acids
1 portion pack reduced-fat or light spread for 2 slices of bread, 1 teaspoon oil per person when cooking or in salads.
Notes: Choose mono- or polyunsaturated reduced-fat or light spreads. Choose rapeseed, olive, canola, sunflower, or corn oils. Always cook with as little fat or oil as possible - measure it out instead of pouring into pan.

Country

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Portion size

Greece

4-5 servings per day Limit animal fat intake. Olive oil should be the main added fat. Avoid consumption of trans fat, mainly found in commercial products (i.e. biscuits, sweets, prepared sauces, fast-food). 1 tbsp olive oil (15 ml), 1 tbsp other vegetable oils (15 ml), 1 handful nuts, 10-12 olives, 1 tbsp butter or margarine (15 ml).
Notes: Includes advice on nuts and olives

Spain

- As a healthy choice, take olive oil and other foods with unsaturated fats and do not overuse foods with saturated fats. Decrease your fat intake and you will not add unnecessary calories to your diet. Fat abuse is not recommended in the diet, since the percentage of calories contributed by this nutrient should not exceed 30% of the total recommended energy. -
Notes: Olive oil is the basis of the diet and should be consumed daily.

Country

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Portion size

France

-

Avoid excessive consumption. Prefer rapeseed and nut oils (rich in alpha-linolenic acid*) and olive oil, without increasing the commonly consumed quantity of added fats.
Animal fats should be reserved for raw or spreadable use and in limited quantities.

* Compared to low ALA oils (including sunflower or peanut oils).

-

Croatia

Energy derived from fats should provide approx. 30% of daily energy intake, which is roughly equivalent to 70-90 g of total fat(s). Limit consumption. Use high quality vegetable oils rather than animal fat. Give priority to olive and pumpkin seed oil. -

Italy

3-4 portions of fatty condiment per day. Unsaturated fats should preferably be used raw. Choose cooking methods without excessive heating of fat or excessively long cooking time. Moderate the amount of fats and oils. Favour vegetal oil. Do not over-indulge in fried foods. 1 tablespoon of oil (10 g), 1 portion of butter (10 g), 1 portion of margarine (10 g).

Cyprus

Use olive oil (2-4 tablespoons or 30-60 ml) on a daily basis, in salads but also in cooking. Limit use. Prefer olive oil. Only add small amounts of fat during cooking. Keep correct ratio of fats in your diet. Never use butter/margarine/cream. Avoid saturated fats (found in meat and full-fat dairy products). 1 teaspoon (5 ml) oil, 1 teaspoon (5 ml) mayonnaise, 1 tablespoon (15 ml) light mayonnaise, 1/8 avocado (medium) (2 tablespoons, 30 ml), 1 teaspoon (5 ml) margarine, 1 teaspoon (5 ml) butter, 6 almonds, 2 walnuts, 10 peanuts.

Country

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Portion size

Latvia

30% of daily energy. Reduce your consumption of margarine, butter and fatty meats. Use little oil to prepare your meals. To reduce the amount of "bad cholesterol" (LDL) in the blood, it is important to reduce saturated fat intake. -

Lithuania

- Eat as little as possible foods that are rich in animal fat. Eat foods that contain high levels of poly-unsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs). -

Luxembourg

- Limit consumption, choose vegetable oils over animal oils/fats. Beware of hidden fats. Choose lean meat and be careful of the fat content of dairy products. Nuts should be part of any balanced diet. -

Hungary

- Choose food with less salt, fat, sugar. Fatty foods (cakes, biscuits, ice cream, fatty cheeses, sausages, mayonnaise): not every day and in small amounts. Use less oil when preparing food, cooking methods requiring less oil. Fried food: only occasionally. -

Country

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Malta

Olive oil: 1 tbsp (15 ml) per person per day. Use olive oil as the principal source of dietary fats/oils. 1 tbsp (15 ml)

Netherlands

Men
19-50 yr: 65 g per day
Women
19-50 yr: 40 g per day

Additional recommendations for children; elderly; pregnant women; lactating women.

Replace butter, hard margarines, and cooking fats with soft margarines, liquid cooking fats, and vegetable oils. Spreadable fat: 6 g
Cooking fat: 15 g

Austria

1-tablespoon oil or 2 tablespoons nuts Prefer high-quality oils: olive, rapeseed, walnut, soybean, linseed, sesame, maize, sunflower, pumpkin, grapeseed + nuts, seeds. Use spreadable, baking, frying fats (e.g. butter, margarine, lard), fatty dairy (e.g. cream, sour cream, crème fraiche) sparingly. 1 tablespoon oil, butter / margarine
2 tablespoons nuts

Poland

- Limit intake of animal fats - substitute with vegetable oils (especially rapeseed and olive oil), but in small quantities and best raw. -

Country

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Portion size

Portugal

1-3 servings of oil/fats. Reducing the consumption of fats, in particular of the solid fats (animal origin); give preference to consumption of olive oil. 1 tablespoon (olive) oil (10 g), 1 teaspoon lard (10 g), 4 tablespoons cream (30 ml), 1 tablespoon butter/margarine (15 g).

Romania

- Recommend reducing the consumption of fats, particularly those saturated; Olive oil should be preferred. Choose vegetable oils instead of solid fats. Eat small amounts of fat. 1 tbsp

Slovenia

- Control fat intake and replace most saturated fats (animal fats) with unsaturated vegetable oils. -

Slovakia

5-9 servings a day. Replace saturated fats (e.g. margarine) by avocado, fish, nuts or virgin oils (e.g. sunflower seeds oil, olive oil). -

Country

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Finland

- Choose vegetable margarines with at least 60% fat. Increase the amount of unsaturated fats and reduce the amount of saturated fats. Particularly recommended: rapeseed oil or oil of equivalent composition. Not recommended: coconut oil, palm oil, and palm kernel oil. -

Sweden

- Choose healthy oils when cooking, such as rape seed oil or liquid fats made from rapeseed oil, and healthy sandwich spreads. Look for the Keyhole symbol. -

United Kingdom

Choose unsaturated oils and spreads and eat in small amounts. All fat should be limited. Unsaturated fats are healthier fats that are usually from plant sources and in liquid form as oil, for example vegetable oil, rapeseed oil and olive oil. Swapping to unsaturated fats will help to reduce cholesterol in the blood, therefore it is important to get most of our fat from unsaturated oils. -
Notes: Butters are not included in this section as these are high in saturated fat and are included in the ‘foods to eat less often and in small amounts’ section.

Country

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Portion size

Switzerland

2-3 tablespoons per day (20-30 g) of vegetable oil, of which at least half should be rapeseed oil. Butter, margarine, cream, etc. can be used, however, sparingly (approx. 1 tablespoon = 10 g per day). Cold use: rapeseed, olive, walnut, flaxseed, wheat germ, soybean oil.
Cooking: refined rapeseed, refined olive, high-oleic and low-linolenic (HOLL) rapeseed, high-oleic (HO) sunflower oil.
Cooking at high temperature: HOLL rapeseed oil, high-oleic (HO) sunflower oil.
Baking: refined rapeseed, refined olive, HOLL rapeseed, HO sunflower oil.
1 tablespoon = 10 g

Iceland

- "Softer and healthier fat" (means more unsaturated fat). It is recommended to increase the amount of unsaturated fat and reduce the amount of saturated fat. Choose vegetable oils for cooking and for salads, for example rapeseed oil and olive oil instead of butter, margarine or coconut oil. Fatty fish, fishoil, vegetable oils, nuts, seeds and avocado are good providers of healthier fat. Try to use hummus, pesto or avocado as topping on bread. Choose products with the Keyhole label if possible. -

Norway

- Choose edible oils, liquid margarine and soft margarine, rather than hard margarine and butter. Replace saturated fats with more favorable unsaturated fatty acids. -