The Nordic diet is the latest health food diet craze sweeping through the United States. This diet is based on the traditional cuisine found in Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden, the Scandinavian countries. Nutritionists believe that the Nordic diet is one of the healthiest ways to eat. Indeed, obesity rates in Northern Europe are far lower than here in the United States.
Nordic Diet: What Exactly Is It?
It’s a diet that shuns obsessive calorie counting and crash dieting; both of which are disastrous for your health. Instead, it promotes a life-long plan for healthy eating. The menu is plant-based, seasonal foods and is packed with lean proteins, complex carbohydrates, and healthy fats. Each meal emphasizes winter vegetables such as kale, cabbage, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts. Eggs and fish are also key.
Nordic Diet: Long Term Health Benefits
The health benefits have been well documented.
The World Health Organization (WHO) found that Nordic diets reduce the risk of cancer, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease. Other studies show it also lowers systolic and diastolic blood pressure levels, normalize cholesterol levels, and helps maintain a healthy weight.
In addition, it reduces inflammation in fatty tissues and consequently also lowers obesity related health risks.
Overall, this diet is low in processed foods and refined carbohydrates, and high in seafood, fruits and vegetables. It promotes more natural food, less food additives, organic produce whenever possible, and more home-cooked meals.
Nutritionists recognize that the Nordic diet is similar to the well-known and also popular Mediterranean diet. Both include plenty of freshwater fish, vegetables, fruit, and whole grains such as oats and barley. They limit the consumption of red meat, dairy, sugars, and processed foods.
The main difference is in the oily fats. While the Mediterranean diet recommends olive oil, the Nordic diet opts for canola oil. Both oils promote a healthy heart by boosting good cholesterol (HDL) and trimming away bad cholesterol (LDL). Both are also rich in Omega-3.
The Nordic Diet has been a staple of food stability in the Scandinavian countries for a long time. Statistics testify to its success. Time will tell whether its current popularity here in the United States will be long-lived or another passing fad. But, just keep in mind that your health is not a fad.