Many of us are always trying to find new ways to balance out our diets and live healthier lifestyles. Anyone who has ever dipped their toes out into the world of the diet industry knows, there are tons of diets out there that are restrictive and not sustainable. The Nordic Diet is a completely different, sustainable way of eating for health.
Any diet that isn’t easily integrated into your current lifestyle is far less likely to work for the long term and with healthy eating, sustaining it long enough to make a lifestyle change is important!
Compared to other ways of eating, the Nordic Diet is relatively easy to adapt to your lifestyle and doesn’t cut out any food groups entirely.
Whether you are trying to just incorporate more healthy foods to get in your vitamins, eat healthy for blood sugar control, or minimize the risk for chronic diseases, switching to the Nordic Diet can help. Let’s take a look at what the Nordic Diet is, the Nordic food pyramid, possible health benefits, and more so you can decide if it is a good choice for you!
What is the Nordic Diet?
The Nordic Diet is a way of eating that focuses on whole foods commonly consumed by Nordic countries. The Nordic Diet came about in 2004 when chefs from Nordic countries created the New Nordic Cuisine Manifesto.
In the creation, their mission was to set the diet apart from the rest by emphasizing sustainability, seasonality, ethical practices, quality, and health.
The Nordic Diet largely consists of plant foods with high nutritional value, which makes it good for your and the environment. So what foods are you supposed to eat? Let’s take a look.
The Nordic Diet Food Pyramid
The Nordic Diet foundation consists of root vegetables like carrots and locally grown produce such as cabbage, mushrooms, berries, and broccoli. On this diet, you should eat many servings of these plant-based foods per day.
Whole grains are in the middle of the pyramid and above that are lean proteins like chicken and eggs, fatty fish, and dairy. You should eat this section of the pyramid in moderation.
Red meat, game meats. and animal fats top off the pyramid, which means they should be consumed rarely. Sugary foods, processed foods, processed meats, and food additives should be avoided entirely to get the best results.
An Example Day of Eating on the Nordic Diet
It’s often hard to picture what different diets would translate to in a day of meals and snacks, so let’s take a look at an example.
A typical day of eating on the Nordic Diet could look like low-fat dairy yogurt or oatmeal with berries for breakfast, a leafy green salad with a simply seasoned lemon juice, and canola oil dressing topped with chicken for lunch, and roasted salmon and root veggies for dinner.
Snacks throughout the day could include a serving of local cheese with whole-grain crackers, an apple, or carrots with a dill yogurt dip.
Of course, you can swap these things out based on your tastes, mix and match different ingredients, and season things how you wish so that you have a well-rounded day of foods that taste great.
Possible Health Benefits of the Nordic Diet
One of the reasons the Nordic Diet has become so popular and successful for many is the possible health benefits. The World Health Organization recognizes several researched benefits to the Nordic Diet, including reducing the risk factors of cardiovascular disease, cancer, and type two diabetes. It has also been shown to lower blood pressure, reduce inflammation, normalize cholesterol, and help manage weight.
Eating whole foods can also just help ensure that you get all of your essential vitamins and feel good. Not everyone will experience the same health benefits, but the Nordic Diet can be a good way of eating if you have high blood pressure, heart disease, or are looking for weight loss.
Nordic Diet vs. Mediterranean Diet
By now, you may have realized that the Nordic Diet is quite similar to the Mediterranean Diet. Though they share a lot of similarities, there are a few main differences.
Firstly, the Mediterranean Diet recommends olive oil due to the region in which it is based. However, the Nordic Diet uses canola oil because it has less saturated fat. The Mediterranean Diet also includes one glass of red wine each day, while the Nordic Diet encourages alcohol only in moderation.
Both diets are focused on whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats while avoiding processed foods and foods high in sugar.
Here are a few of the most frequently asked questions about the Nordic Diet.
The Nordic Diet is not only a sustainable way of eating for your long term but is also good for the planet. Utilizing unprocessed local foods is affordable while still allowing you to eat high-quality, nutrition-packed ingredients.
Consider the diet of Nordic countries if you are looking for a way of eating that promotes a healthy body weight and diminishes the risk of chronic diseases, like cardiovascular diseases and insulin sensitivity.