What is a Nordic diet? It a new diet/health plan on the scene and nutrition experts are buzzing about it. It offers all the same benefits as the ever popular Mediterranean diet, but it has even more benefits. It, of course, involves the basics of eating healthy. These are pretty easy, fill your plate with the good, vegetables, fruits, lean protein, and whole grains, and cut out the crap foods. The best part about the Nordic diet? It is not a true diet, on the basis of it is only used for weight loss. This diet helps you to eat healthy, like the Paleo, Mediterranean, or vegetarian diets. The Mediterranean diet is the most famous diet out there right now. It includes plant based foods and some lean proteins. The Nordic diet is a solid contender that nutritionists believe may be better than the Mediterranean diet.
What is the Nordic Diet?
It is a plant based diet that emphasizes fatty fish. Fatty fish are salmon, mackerel, herrings, etc. It also focuses on berries and root vegetables, like carrots or potatoes, exclusively. It also includes nuts, legumes, whole grains, and low-fat dairy products. On this diet, you will have to cut out processed foods, like junk foods. You will also have to cut out high fat meats like bacon. It is a Nordic diet because it is based off of cuisine in Nordic countries like Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, and Iceland.
The Nordic diet is based off of the Baltic Sea Diet Pyramid. It is similar to the Mediterranean diet but it has one key difference, it focuses on use of canola oil, instead of olive oil. Canola oil can reduce LDL cholesterol, which is the bad cholesterol. It reduces your risk of heart disease and stroke. Olive oil is also known for this, but there have been studies that suggest that canola oil is more effective at preventing these diseases and conditions.
What are the Benefits?
There are serious heart health benefits when you switch to the Nordic diet. There have been studies that show that the Nordic diet helps to reduce the risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer. This diet helps to lower your blood pressure. High blood pressure can lead to heart attack, kidney failure or stroke. This diet, since it is rich in omega-3s found in fatty fish, it helps to lower your blood pressure. It can also lead to weight loss, if you go from a diet high in processed foods to this. Since this diet includes whole grains, it can help with weight management. Whole grains can help to keep your weight balanced.
This diet also helps with weight loss because of what you give up. Giving up processed foods can help to stop overeating and weight gain. It can also help with inflammation. This diet is based on anti-inflammatory foods, so in turn, it helps to reduce inflammation in the body. Another awesome benefit is that the Nordic diet helps Mother Nature. Since this is a plant based diet, there are less natural resources used to produce the food. Plus, there are less greenhouse emissions from processing and collecting the food. This diet is also high in fiber, because of the fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Fiber helps to fill you up and keep your body regular.
How do I Eat a Nordic Diet?
The good part of switching to the Nordic diet is that you do not have to deprive yourself of food. To start, you should pick up some staples. Buy seasonal fruits, especially berries like blueberries, strawberries, etc. Buy root vegetables like turnips, carrots, beets, parsnips, and potatoes. Also, buy specific foods like, broccoli, kale, spinach, legumes, barley, oats, rye, wheat, canola oil, fish (fatty fish), eggs, seeds and nuts. You can also start buy low-fat dairy products.
You should eat meals like oatmeal with nuts and fruits. Salmon with broccoli and a potato side dish is another good meal. If you like to eat large meals, you should commit to one meal a day being only plant based. This will help you to eat enough vegetables throughout the day. If fish is starting to taste bland, try lean red meats like bison, it can be a good substitute for your fish, and fulfill your red meat cravings.
What are Some Nordic Meal Ideas?
You can begin your day with a whole grain breakfast. This includes eating oatmeal, or other grain heavy foods like bran cereals. You can add seeds or nuts to this meal, with fruit either in it or on the side. During the day you should eat more grains, like barley based meals. Throw in some vegetables and low fat dairies to help fill you up. For example, go with a creamy barley soup that you add mushrooms and cheese to. At the end of your day, you should eat protein. These proteins include the fatty fish or lean red meats that will be part of your diet. Throw in a root vegetable side dish to fill you up.
As stated above, salmon and potato dishes go very well together. You can have a few snacks throughout the day. These snacks should include fruit, raw vegetables, seeds, nuts, and low-fat yogurts. Make sure that you are only eating one serving of these snacks, otherwise this diet, more like a health plan, will not be very healthy any more.
Always talk to your doctor before you decide to start any new diet plans. This diet can be very beneficial if you suffer from any heart conditions or cholesterol issues. The Nordic diet is a newer diet, although it is based off of a traditional Nordic diet, so the health claims are not intensely studied. It can be assumed because of the foods that are preferred for this diet that the health claims are absolutely valid. This is not a miracle cure for any health condition or disease, but it is suggested that it can help to reduce the symptoms of any of these diseases or conditions.