The Nordic diet is based on locally sourced foods eaten in the Nordic countries of Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Greenland, and Iceland. The philosophy of the diet is to eat locally grown, sourced, or available wholesome foods. As a result, the Nordic diet can be adapted to foods locally grown, sourced, or available wherever you live.
Especially relevant, the Nordic diet contains less sugar and fat but twice the fiber and seafood, especially when compared to a typical Western diet. Furthermore, the Nordic diet’s emphasis is on the following:
Whole grains such as oats and barley are an important part of meals. Another example is dark, dense sourdough rye bread from Denmark. In addition, eat snacks such as whole-grain crackers from Sweden. Most of all, they provide high-quality “complex’ carbohydrates that are rich in fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to protect your cells.
Fish from the ocean, seas, and lakes provide many healthy benefits. In fact, fish containing omega-3 fatty acids help you by:
And, examples of these fish include:
High-quality meat should be eaten in small amounts.
Processed foods as well as less sugary foods.
Home cooked meals using canola oil or rapeseed oil provide many benefits. Canola oil is low in saturated fat, high in healthy monounsaturated fat, and alpha-linolenic acid. In fact, alpha-linolenic acid is an omega-3 that helps protect your brain from such things as strokes.
Seek out more foods from the wild. For example, nuts and seeds are a good source of complex carbs and fiber. Also, they are rich in zinc, copper, potassium, vitamin E, niacin, antioxidants, and mono-unsaturated fats and poly-unsaturated fats.
Whenever possible, use organic produce.
Instead, use herbs and spices.
Seasonal produce provides an opportunity to eat foods that are only available for short periods of time.
Minimize waste by eating more foods that comes with little throw away packaging.
Most of all, the Nordic diet doesn’t count calories, instead you calculate the meal’s carbs to protein ratio. Indeed, the ideal Nordic diet meal has a 2:1 ratio of carbs grams to protein grams.
Furthermore, the carbs to protein ratio is based on a combination of Low-Glycemic Index (low-GI) foods and moderately high-protein foods. Most noteworthy, high-protein foods include low fat dairy products.
First, low-GI foods cause a slower and lower elevation in blood sugars compared to high-GI foods. In addition, protein-rich foods make you feel less hungry. Therefore, by properly balancing nutritionally dense foods, you can:
Select carbs using the guidelines below.
Select proteins using the guidelines below.
Vegetables and whole grains provide fiber. And, for extra fiber add chia seeds to your meals.
Above all, a one half of a typical meal would include vegetables, fruits and berries. Next, one quarter contains low-GI carbs. Finally, one quarter contains protein rich foods.
In fact, proteins should be included in every meal. Also, starches like rice and pasta are fine but in smaller amounts than plant foods, lean meats and fish.
Breakfast would contain dry fruits, grains, berries, or porridge with oats.
For dinner, eat fish, meat from animals hunted in the wild, and vegetables.
These snacks can be low-GI toast, fresh fruits or nuts.
When eating outside the home, eat fresh vegetables (instead of potatoes) and pasta salads. Also, eat lean protein and low-GI sides like chickpeas. Finally, drink water with every meal.
Most of all, the Nordic diet:
The Nordic diet can help you lose weight, reduce blood pressure, and inflammation.
A 2016 study, with 145 participants, in the Journal of Proteome Research compared the Nordic diet to a Danish diet. Most noteworthy, the Danish diet is almost like an American diet. Also, the Danish diet, with more fat and less fiber, consisted of more meat, processed foods, and fewer plant foods. And, the study reported that after 26 weeks, Nordic diet participants were more likely to lose weight.
Another 2014 study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition looked at the effectiveness of the Nordic diet. Also, this study, which lasted six months, had 147 obese participants. And, the study reported that obese participants on the Nordic diet lost 10.4 pounds. While others on an average Danish diet lost 3.3 pounds.
Finally, a 2011 6-week study in the Journal of Internal Medicine reported the weight-reducing effects of the Nordic diet. And, the study reported that Nordic diet participants lost 4 percent more body weight than the standard diet participants.
The 2014 American Journal of Clinical Nutrition study, described previously, also looked at how Nordic diet affects blood pressure. And, the study found that Nordic diet participants saw greater decrease in blood pressure than the Danish diet participants.
Yet another 2014 study, in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition had 37 metabolic syndrome participants lasting 12 weeks. And, the study reported significant ambulatory diastolic blood pressure reduction among Nordic diet participants compared to control diet participants.
Next, a 2013 study in the Journal of Internal Medicine looked at insulin sensitivity and blood pressure. Moreover, the 24 week study involved 166 participants either on a Nordic diet or a control diet. And, the study reported no significant changes in insulin sensitivity or blood pressure between control and Nordic diet participants. However, the Nordic diet participants saw improved lipid profile and beneficial effects on low-grade inflammation.
Finally, a 2015 Journal of Clinical Nutrition study looked at effects of Nordic diet on individuals with metabolic syndrome. And, the study reported reduced inflammatory gene expressions in abdominal subcutaneous adipose (fat) tissue compared to control diet participants.
Some of the negatives with the Nordic diet are listed below.
According to U.S. News and World Report the Nordic diet, in 2019, is ranked: