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Whether you're fed up of calorie counting or sick of over-restrictive diets, the Nordic diet will no doubt grab your attention.
A combination of fresh seasonal vegetables, tasty seafood and whole grains, all as locally sourced as possible; reducing food miles and packaging to make the new Nordic diet not only great for your health, but also the environment. Surely that's a win-win, right?
This article covers all the basics about the Nordic diet, so you can make an educated decision on whether this diet is right for you.
The questions we answer about the Nordic Diet include:
- Where is the Nordic Diet from?
- What is the Nordic Diet?
- What foods can you eat on the Nordic Diet?
- Does the Nordic Diet help with weight loss?
- Is the Nordic Diet right for you?
Scroll down to find out more about each question.
Where Is The Nordic Diet From?
Let's kick things off with a little Geography, can you name three countries located in the 'Nordic Circle'?...
The Nordic diet originates from the countries located in the Nordic Circle, which include; Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland and Iceland alongside their associated territories of Greenland, the Faroe Islands and Aland Islands.
Give yourself a point if you managed to name any of the above. The home of the Nordic diet is also the very place you can experience one of the life's great wonders, the northern lights.
What Is The Nordic Diet?
So, now we know where the Nordic Diet originates, what is it all about?
Similar to the Mediterranean diet, the Nordic diet focuses on living organically from local, fresh produce, sourced from the Nordic regions' most accessible foods. Providing a balanced, complete diet inclusive of many foods considered 'healthy' and exclusive of those considered 'unhealthy'.
This makes the Nordic Diet one of the most sustainable diets, placing emphasis on reducing food and packaging related waste, limiting red meat consumption and avoiding pre-packaged and fast foods.
The main focus of the Nordic diet is on eating locally sourced produce, that helps to reduce the overall environmental footprint on each meal; lowering food miles and keeping foods as fresh as possible whilst delivering a diet rich in vitamins, fibre, protein, omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D.
What Foods Can You Eat On The Nordic Diet?
With the Nordic diet promoting consumption of locally sourced foods, that are both sustainable and considered to be healthy, there are clear outlines to what would be 'acceptable' when following the Nordic Diet.
The Nordic Diet food list includes:
- Whole grains
- Rye bread
- Rapeseed oil
Foods to eat in moderation on the Nordic Diet food list include:
- Free-range eggs
- Game meats
Eating red meats and animal fats should be kept to a minimum, while added sugars, processed meats, food additives, fast food and sugar-sweetened beverages should be excluded.
The Nordic Diet has been shown to meet recommended dietary requirements including macro and micronutrient intake (study).
Does The Nordic Diet Help With Weight Loss?
As with many diets, weight loss ultimately falls down to calories in vs calories out. Meaning the energy your body uses each day needs to be greater than the energy you consume (eat/drink).
The Nordic diet does help lower calorie intake from certain foods, such as fatty red meats while promoting a balanced and healthy diet.
The increase in vegetables, grains and whole foods will help keep the feeling of satiety, whilst foods that are often overeaten like sweets, fast food and snacks with added sugar are removed from the diet.
By following the new Nordic diet and exercising regularly, weight loss can be achieved.
Remember, most modern diets are based on restricting certain foods to increase the chance of eating in a caloric deficit, such as the keto diet that removes carbohydrates from your meals.
Shifting your energy balance to promote a caloric deficit, will result in weight loss.
Is The Nordic Diet Right For You?
The new Nordic diet promotes a healthy way of eating, with it being inclusive of fresh vegetables and fruits such as berries, while increasing seafood and naturally fatty fish is shown to have benefits to heart health.
Exotic foods are included in the Nordic Diet much less, due to the food miles required to transport them to Scandinavia, however, including some exotic meats and fruit in moderation may be desired.
Buying fresh, organic vegetables and fruits may not completely break the bank, but having fresh seafood as the main protein source in the diet does make following the new Nordic diet a little more costly. With fish such as Salmon and Haddock having a much higher price p/kilo than red meats.
Removing fast foods and pre-packaged meals may also become an inconvenience, especially if you're a student! Planning meals and snacks ahead can help alleviate this, using re-usable food boxes and Tupperware.
TOP TIP: If the Nordic diet isn't realistic to maintain for your lifestyle, take elements from it and introduce them slowly. Making an effort to eat more locally sourced foods three days of the week and sticking to it, is much better than making the seven-day commitment and failing within a few weeks.