A healthy diet is what we need for a healthy body and Nordic Diet is one of such diet variations that are getting popular day by day. If you are aware of the extremely popular Mediterranean diet, you will find it quite a lot similar with that. However, the Nordic Diet focuses more on sustainability, local ingredients and good taste.
What Is Nordic Diet?
Nordic diet is a simple diet plan that was created based on the foods available in the Nordic countries (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden and adjacent territories). It is a balanced diet emphasizing on sustainable, seasonal and organic produces in order to attain a better health and well-being.
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Nordic Diet – Basic Guidelines
The philosophy of Nordic diet is mainly based on the consumption of berries, vegetables and fish that are traditional, seasonal and locally available. It was designed by keeping the Nordic environment in mind. However, the diet can be modified according to the environment, population and availability of ingredients in a particular area. The fundamental guidelines of Nordic Diet are based on three principles:
- ‘More calories from plants and less from meat’: It is all about replacing less environment-friendly foods like meat with more environment-friendly ones like plants (fruits, vegetables, etc.). This ensures greater health benefits by increasing the intakes of vitamins, minerals, fibers, unsaturated fats and reducing excessive calories as well as saturated fats.
- ‘More Intake of freshwater and saltwater fish’: This refers to the consumption of plenty of fish including shellfish to make sure that you are getting essential vitamins, minerals and fatty acids in sufficient quantities.
- ‘More foods from the wild countryside’: Meat, fruits, berries, etc. scavenged from the wild are significantly healthier than their commercially reared counterparts. Eating such foods in large amounts can provide lots of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, polyunsaturated fats, etc. to our body for a great well-being.
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Nordic Diet – Food List
Here is a list of food category including the food items and nutrients offered by them. If you are planning to go the Nordic way, this will be of your utmost help:
|Food Category||Food Items||
|Oily / Fatty Fish||Salmon, mackerel, sardine, herring, certain white fish||Omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins, minerals|
|Meat (lean and high quality)||Preferably venison (game animals killed by hunting), reindeer, elk, rabbit, kangaroo, beef, pork, lamb, chicken, turkey||Protein, vitamin B, minerals (iron, zinc)|
|Cereals||Whole-grain rye bread and pastas, wheat bread, oats, muesli, barley flakes, pearled barley||Dietary fiber, vitamins, minerals, (lesser amounts of sodium, cholesterol and saturated fats), phytochemicals, antioxidants|
|Fruits and vegetables (eaten hot or cold)||Apple, pear, prune, cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, fennel, spinach, onion, leek, kale, sugar peas, turnip, carrot, parsnip, beetroot||Dietary fiber, vitamins B6 and C, folate, minerals (iron, potassium, magnesium)
|Berries (added to fish and meat dishes, desserts, or eaten separately)||Lingonberries, cloudberries, blueberries, blackberries, wild strawberries, mulberries, raspberries, elderberries, black and red currants||Antioxidants, vitamins, minerals|
|Fats / Oils||Canola oil / rapeseed oil, high oleic sunflower oil, linseed oil, extra virgin olive oil, low fat vegetable spread, vegetable liquid margarine||High unsaturated and monosaturated fats, only 6% saturated fats, vitamin E|
|Dairy products||Low fat milk, fermented milk, cheese (< 17%)
|Proteins, vitamins, minerals|
|Legumes||Brown beans, yellow and green peas||Dietary fibers, carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins, minerals|
|Nuts and seeds||Almonds, linseed seed, psyllium seed and sunflower seed||Proteins, vitamins and minerals|
|Herbs, spices and beverages||Parsley, dill, mustard, horseradish, vinaigrette, all spices, soy sauce, oat-based non-dairy creamer, potato starch, yeast, low sodium salt, tea, coffee, fruit or vegetable juices||Antioxidants|
A few other things to remember about Nordic diet:
- Root vegetables like potatoes, carrots, turnips, beets, etc. are a staple in Nordic diet.
- Eggs should be always cooked before consuming.
- Starchy plan foods like potatoes must be boiled first.
- Rice is not all a Nordic food.
- Stay away from red meat while going the Nordic way.
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Benefits Of Nordic Diet
The best thing about Nordic Diet is that it offers fats results with long-term benefits. So, if you are struggling to improve your health, following this diet can be a safe, natural and effective way. Here are some of the great health benefits offered by Nordic Diet:
- Reduces the risks of developing cardiovascular diseases to a great extent
- Prevents the onset of metabolic syndromes, such as stroke, type-2 diabetes, obesity, etc.
- Keeps blood sugar levels under control
- Keeps certain types of cancer at bay
- Improves insulin sensitivity
- Gives a better blood lipid profile
- Reduces the level of bad cholesterol in bloodstream
- Lowers blood pressure significantly
- Aids in brain development
- Keeps joints, nerves and eyes healthy
- Regularize bowel movement
- Averts free radical damages
- Takes care of mental health
- Cooking at low-temperature offers the maximum nutritional value
Impressed with the simple and healthy Nordic Diet plan? Give it a try and enjoy the results!