With an approximate height of 184 cm for adult men, Dutch are one of the tallest people in the world. There are multiple theories about why they are so tall. One of the theories says it’s because of their diet. So what is their diet and can you grow taller by eating just like Dutch?
The Dutch diet is pretty simple. In the Netherlands, they eat plenty of veggies and little meat. For breakfast, they eat bread with cheese, ham or peanut butter. For dinner, they eat meat or fish with potatoes. Dutch diet is full of dairy, raw milk and cheese.
Average Dutchmen is 20 cm taller than 50 years ago. Surely genetics, natural selection and constantly increasing quality of life have a lot to it, but let’s have a closer look at a Dutch diet. It’s full of veggies, nuts, and fruit. They eat plenty of cheese and drink raw milk. Fresh fish is very popular in the Netherlands. That’s very general, so let’s dive deep into this topic.
What is the Dutch Diet?
If you’ve never heard of a Dutch diet I can say that it’s quite similar to the Mediterranean diet. Dutch diet is also full of vegetables, nuts, fish, and fruit. The difference between the Mediterranean and Dutch diet is that in Holland they eat much more diary, which is a source of calcium that can potentially help us grow taller.
Dutch drink a lot of milk, eat plenty of cheese. Raw milk is quite popular in the Netherlands and it’s totally different than the milk you get in shops. It’s full of nutrients and enzymes which make your skin shine and give you strength. When you start drinking raw milk you have to take it slowly. If you’ve never had raw milk before and you drink too much you surely get some digestive issues.
Thanks to the geographical location of the Netherlands they’ve been always eating a lot of fish. Even today you get can fresh fish on markets and at little stands on the streets. The most popular is Kibbeling(codfish in batter, fried on deep oil) and fresh Herring served with pickles and onion.
Dutch Diet Consist of 5 Main Food Groups
Here I mention the most popular foods in the Netherlands, so if you plan to follow the Dutch diet you may want to take some notes.
- Outdoor Veggies – Among the most popular outdoor crops are potatoes, kale, beetroot, green beans, carrots, celeriac, onions, cabbages, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, endive, spinach, Belgian endive, asparagus, and lettuce.
- Greenhouse Veggies – In greenhouses, they grow tomatoes, lettuce, cucumbers, and sweet peppers
- Fruits – apples, pears, cherries, berries, and plums
- Meat and Dairy – Dutch eat chicken, pig, beef, turkey meat. In the past, a Horsemeat was very popular but now not anymore. Eggs, cheese, butter, and milk are the main pillars of the diet.
- Fish – The proximity of the sea make fish easily accessible. You can also get a freshwater fish on markets. Among the most popular fish in the Netherlands are cod, herring, European plaice, sole, mackerel, eels, tuna, salmon, trout, oysters, mussels, shrimp, and sardines. Living in the Netherlands gives you an opportunity to easily add fresh fish to your diet. Fish stands and shops are on every corner.
16th 19th Century Change in Dutch Diet
Probably if you really want to follow Dutch Diet which made people from the Netherlands grow so tall it’s probably not the same diet they eat today. Of course, the last 30 years brought on market a lot of unhealthy foods and these we have to cut 100%. But we also have to remember that during the 20th century Dutch Diet changed a lot.
Between the 16th and 19th century the Netherlands was colonizing many areas of the world. Among Dutch colonies, there are Suriname, Aruba, Curacao, and Bonaire, Indonesia, Ceylon, United States, Sint Maarten, South Africa, Canada. Today you can get food from these faraway countries on every corner of the Netherlands.
Especially Indonesian and Suriname food is very popular. In the Netherlands, there are people from over 190 countries and you can try foods from all over the world. It’s funny that in Amsterdam you can find so many foreign cuisine restaurants but you won’t really find a typical Dutch restaurant.
Today Dutch Diet Isn’t The Same As It Used To Be
Dutch diet was very nutritious for ages, but in this era, everyone eats too much processed food and Holland isn’t an exception. So if you see what they eat now it’s probably not the same as what made them grow so tall.
Dairy isn’t the same as it used to be. In the past, people were drinking raw milk directly from the cow. The milk you buy today in the supermarket is just a milky beverage, it’s not real milk. Raw milk contains live enzymes, vitamins, lactase – an enzyme which digests lactose. 83% of people with lactose intolerance can actually drink raw milk. Lactose intolerance seems to be pasteurized, homogenized milk intolerance, not raw milk intolerance.
I talk a lot about these raw products because I believe they are very healthy and potentially that they made Dutch people grow so tall. Raw milk, fresh cheese, butter made of raw milk, eggs, fish. If you want to grow tall you need to eat products that are nutritious, not empty calories. Milk from the shop has no nutrition. Below you can see a comparison between raw and pasteurized milk.
Dutch Drink Plenty Of Coffee
Dutch people drink on average 4 cups of coffee a day and they rank number one for the highest drinking coffee nations in the world. Maybe the reason why they drink so much coffee is that Dutch took a big role in a coffee trade in the 15th and 16th centuries.
It’s difficult to say why coffee is so popular in the Netherlands. From my experience it available everywhere and very often it’s just for free. In workplace, coffee is free most of the time. Even in supermarkets, you can find coffee corners where you can grab free coffee.
I don’t think coffee makes you grow taller but that’s what Dutch drink all the time, so it must be included here as a part of their diet.
When I first discovered how many potatoes they eat I couldn’t believe it. They make potato salad, potato soup, but the most famous and served in many different shapes and forms is Dutch Stamppot 😉 Stamppot is basically mashed potatoes with some other vegetable mixed together.
The most common vegetables used for stamppot are sauerkraut, endive, kale, spinach, turnip greens, or carrot and onion. Sometimes these additional veggies are cooked and sometimes raw. For example, you can just add raw leafy greens. Some people add beets and mushrooms.
Stamppot is served with a little bit of meat. most often with sausage. You can get Stamppot in every supermarket. You can also get mashed potatoes and make stamppot by yourself. To be honest it’s not a NASA technology. It’s very easy to make.
Pea Soup – Erwtensoep
Erwtensoep – Pea Soup – is a popular dish in the Netherlands. It’s actually the first Dutch food I’ve tried. It was the only thing served late in the night at the bar in Haarlem. I liked it. We ate it with a sausage and a piece of bread. Nothing extraordinary but worth trying.
So as you can see the Dutch diet is simple but very diverse. In the Netherlands they don’t cook fancy dishes, they keep it simple but healthy.
Dutch Breakfast and Dinner
- Breakfast – Nowadays Dutch eat kind of an Italian breakfast. By that I mean they eat something sweet. Often it is a bread with some sweet sprinkle spread such as: hagelslag, vlokken, muisjes, gestampte muisjes, chocolate spread, treacle. That’s definitely not the way Dutch used to eat in the past. They used to eat bread with butter and cheese and a glass of milk. Here you can read a full article about Dutch breakfast foods.
- Dinner – For Dinner Dutch people eat most often some potatoes, veggies, and meat. The most popular Dutch dishes are Stamppot, Meatballs, Pancakes, Mussels, Kibbeling
When it comes to food, the Netherlands is well known for its cheese, herring, and pancakes. But, have you heard that the Dutch eat quite a lot of pastries? The reason may be that they know how to bake some tasty goodies. Among the best Dutch baked goods there are:
- Boterkoek – Butter cake
- Dutch Apple Pie
- Bossche Bollen
- Variety of baked goods With Almond Paste
Why is Milk So Popular in the Netherlands?
Milk has become so popular in the Netherlands in time when clean water wasn’t that available. It was also a time when world-known cheeses such as Gouda, Edam or Maasdam originated.
Is it still that popular? Yes, it is. You can even get raw milk from a local farmer and there are plenty of places like this. Every Sunday I visit my farmer friend and I buy around 10 liters of milk for the whole week. I drink it straight from the bottle, add to my coffee or I make my homemade kefir.
Today’s Dutch diet isn’t the same as it used to be. I think that very few people eat healthy nowadays. Most people buy cheap, highly processed food. There are many reasons why the Dutch are that tall, but their diet in the past could be one of the reasons. Surely eating fresh foods, drinking raw milk have great benefits for overall health.
The Dutch are the tallest people in the world – RESEARCH