The new Nordic diet is based upon traditional foods eaten in the Nordic countries of Denmark, Finland, Greenland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden. Because the focus of the diet is on eating wholesome foods, the new Nordic diet can be adapted to foods local to your area.
The new Nordic diet is based on the following concepts and foods:
- Eat more fruits and vegetables
- Berries are a good source of antioxidants called anthocyanins. Because anthocyanins help keep your veins and arteries healthy and flexible, they help lower your blood pressure.
- Beans and Peas are a major source of complex carbs and fiber. They are also a good source of proteins and nutrients like riboflavin, B6, calcium, zinc, and iron.
- Legumes and vegetables such as cabbage
- Root vegetables and Tubers like carrots, parsnips, beets, and potatoes. They are a source of fiber that takes a long time to digest and keeps your blood sugar stable. Also, they help protect your cells, lower your cholesterol and fight infection.
- Eat more whole grains such as barley, oats, whole-grain crackers from Sweden, or dark, dense sourdough rye bread from Denmark. They provide high-quality “complex’ carbohydrates that are rich in fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to help protect your cells.
- Include foods from the seas, lakes, and the wild containing omega-3 fatty acids that lower your chances of heart rhythm problems, less plaque buildup in the arteries and cut down on triglycerides in blood. These foods include the following.
- Fatty fish such as salmon, herring, mackerel, sardines, and albacore tuna
- Lean fish such as cod, haddock and halibut
- Choose small amounts of high-quality meat
- Use less processed and less sugary foods.
The new Nordic diet uses a carb-to-protein ratio that is based on a combination of Low-Glycemic Index (Low-GI) and moderately high-protein foods, including dairy products. Low-GI foods cause a slower and lower elevation in blood sugars compared to High-GI foods. Protein-rich foods make you feel less hungry. By properly balancing nutritionally dense foods, you can prevent weight gain, reduce inflammation in the body and lower your risk of diseases like diabetes.
- Eat more home cooked meals – Canola oil or rapeseed oil is low in saturated fat, high in healthy monounsaturated fat, and alpha-linolenic acid (an omega-3 that helps protect your brain, including from strokes).
- Seek out more foods from the wild – 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
- Avoid food additives
- Eat more seasonal produce
- Create less waste
The benefits of the new Nordic diet include the following.
- Helps to lose weight especially the fat around the waist
- Scientist think this diet helps heart health because the diet lowers unhealthy cholesterol, blood pressure, glucose, and insulin levels.
- Lowers LDL (the “bad”) cholesterol
- Reduces risk of Type 2 diabetes
- Helps cut back on inflammation. In fact, inflammation is linked to diseases like diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure.