Nutrition experts are buzzing about the Nordic diet. As the name suggests, the Nordic diet includes foods which are locally sourced and traditionally eaten in Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden.
Typically, the Nordic diet includes whole-grain cereals such as rye, barley, and oats; berries and other fruits; vegetables especially cabbage and root vegetables such as carrots and potatoes; fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, and herring; and legumes (beans and peas).
Many call it the New Nordic Diet, which has become a new food culture developed in 2009-13 with key emphasis on gastronomy, health, and environment. The New Nordic Diet relies on Nordic ingredients but is elastic all around the world.
In contrast to the Mediterranean diet, including olive oil, it favors rapeseed oil (canola oil), which is high in healthful mono-unsaturated fat. And additionally, it contains a number of malic acid, a plant-based omega-3 fatty acid similar to the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish.
Canola oil can help reduce bad LDL cholesterol and the risk of heart disease and stroke. It is possible that canola oil may be better at reducing bad cholesterol and improving heart health. The diet emphasizes cutting out processed foods and most high-fat meats like sausage or bacon.
Health benefits of the Nordic diet –
• A major review by the World Health Organization (WHO) found that both the Mediterranean and Nordic diets decrease risk of cancer, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.
• The diet may also result in weight loss. A University of Eastern Finland study also revealed that the diet down regulates the expression of genes associated with inflammation, which is considered to contribute to many chronic health issues and play a role in obesity.
• Processed foods are more palatable, which results in overeating and weight gain. Since the Nordic diet de-emphasizes consumption of processed foods, it prevents over-eating and resultant weight gain.
• Eating more of a plant-based diet is better for the environment as there are far less greenhouse gas emissions. It’s been reported that factory farming for meat production contributes more to global warming than all airplanes, trains, buses and automobiles combined.
The Crux –
The Mediterranean diet has been considered to be the best so far as health benefits it is thought to offer. Now there is another diet which makes its mark in the culinary world so far as its health benefits are concerned. This is the Nordic diet.
In many ways, it is extremely much like the Mediterranean diet but relies on rapeseed (canola) oil rather than olive oil. Additionally, it differs in its selection of types of produce, which are cultivated locally, depending on the area’s climate, water and soil.
Hence it encompasses both the health and well-being of the individual and ecological sustainability.