In This Guide Youll Find Discover
- Magic meals that Nordics swear by
- Dieting tips and tricks your ancestors want you to know
- Reasons why the Nordic Diet is all the rage today
- How incorporating traditional lifestyles to your modern-day meals can make you the fittest guy in the room
- Hacks to maintain your traditional dieting style minus the FOMO
Nordic Diet Plan Guidelines
Dowden provided five days’ worth of tasty Nordic diet meal ideas further down this page, but when preparing your meals make sure you follow these simple principles.
- Fill half your plate with veg, such as carrots, onions, cabbage, garlic, tomatoes, peas, spinach, and broccoli. The rest should be slow-release, high-fiber carbs, eg, rye bread, wholewheat pasta, oats, and barley, plus some good-quality protein like fish, eggs, or lean meat.
- Fish should feature in 2-3 meals a week, including 1-2 portions of an oily variety like salmon or mackerel .
- Use rapeseed cooking oil its heart-healthy like olive oil.
- Eat as many berries as you like . Choose fresh when in season or frozen year-round.
- Help yourself to a portion or two of low-fat dairy or a small matchbox-sized piece of cheese a day is fine.
So What Is The Nordic Diet
It is a relatively new diet â introduced only in 2004. However, it quickly created quite a buzz, particularly among health-conscious people. An increasing number of individuals are embracing it as their go-to guide for eating.
Research after research continues to indicate that the diet is one of the healthiest diets there is. The Nordic Diet is now ranked among the top 10 diets-for-all-time in the United States.
Should you do as the people from the Nordic region do, and live by the principles put forward by their diet?
The Nordic Diet is not designed to be an exacting diet plan. It is intended to provide a set of easy-to-follow guiding principles for healthy eating.
People who have embraced the sensible eating food plan of the Nordic Diet seem to enjoy a wide range of health benefits from doing so. They have become healthier. They have lowered their risk of serious health conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart diseases. They have lost their excess weight. And they have done all these while enjoying healthy, flavorful, accessible, and easy-to-prepare food.
We hope that this book will inspire you to incorporate the Nordic Diet into your lifestyle â and improve your health and quality of life.
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The Nordic Diet: How To Eat Like A Scandinavian
Discover how eating like some Scandinavians could be better for the environment and even lead to weight loss.
Plant-based, seasonal foods with a healthy dose of fish and seafood and a limit on processed foods are the key components of a Nordic diet.
While its not a diet universally enjoyed across the Nordic region, the Nordic diet does form the basis of many peoples approach to eating.
Its similar to the Mediterranean diet in many respects. So, while theres no single diet plan’ to follow, inspiration from the Nordics could be used to help you live a more healthy lifestyle.
A Diet For The Environment
As you might expect from the Scandinavians, the health of the person isnt the only consideration of the Nordic diet. The region is well known for its focus on environmentalism and ecology, and this extends to the Nordic diet too.
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The emphasis on eating locally sourced produce makes sense in two different ways. Firstly, we know that food starts to lose its nutritional value from the time it is picked. For the most nutritious food, we need to gather the food and eat it in the shortest time possible.
This also works well for the planet. The best food a person can eat is grown in their own garden. Second best is from the nearest farm and finally, food grown within the same country.
Food grown abroad which accounts for a huge percentage of the regular Western diet is bad news for the planet and bad news for our health.
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Health Benefits Of Going Nordic
Eating like a traditional Scandinavian isnt just appealing for all the fun Swedish words youll learn to pronounce knäckebröd! räksmörgås!pannkakor! its also loaded with foods that can do wonders for your health.
Most fat-containing foods contain both omega-3 and omega-6 fats, both of which have benefits and are vital in our diets, says registered dietitian nutritionist Jenna Amos, RDN with Siggis Icelandic skyr.
Here are some of the ways that eating Nordic may help your health.
What Is A Nordic Breakfast
The Nordic diet is very similar to the Mediterranean diet. It focuses on incorporating more plant based, seasonal foods into everyday meals. Its very heavy on seasonal fruits, vegetables and seafood.
Typical nordic style breakfasts include items like porridge with fruits and nuts or some type of combination of fresh fruit, seafood, and eggs.
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The Nordic Diet Meal Planners
Breakfast 1 portion of raw oats with fruit and non-fat skimmed milk, or porridge, or a piece of rye bread with cottage cheese and coffee or tea .
Morning snack A snack between breakfast and lunch is important to make sure you don’t get tempted to grab something unhealthy to fill the gap.
1 piece of rye bread with 2 tablespoons of low-fat cottage cheese, or if at a desk far away from a kitchen, have some raw vegetables and 10g nuts, like walnuts, hazelnuts or almonds.
Lunch A standard lunch like pieces of rye bread with hard-boiled eggs, or potatoes and a portion of raw vegetables like carrots, cauliflower, cucumber and celery stalks. At weekends or at home when you have more time and a kitchen is available, make a soup or some of the other lunch recipes in the book.
Afternoon snack 1 piece of fruit
Dinner 1 piece of fish, poultry or game, about 150g 1 big portion of vegetables 2 potatoes or 1 piece of wholegrain bread 1 portion of salad, with lettuce, kale or cabbage
Divide each week as follows: 3 days with fish 2 days with vegetarian meals 2 days with meat
Evening snack 150ml fat-free yogurt with berries or other seasonal fruit or, some nights, a small piece of dark chocolate
Which Foods Are Not Allowed On The Swedish Diet
- Sodas, sugary juices and beer
- Skimmed and normal milk as it may contain high amounts of milk sugar
- Refined oils and
- Desserts: cakes, candies, cakes, chocolates, ice creams, granola bars, artificial sweeteners and high-sugar dairy products
- Muesli, bread, pasta, rice, potatoes, french fries, chips, porridge, legumes and lentils, as the content of carbohydrates is high.
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Do Scandinavians Really Eat A Nordic Diet
Some people seem to think that the Nordic diet is some kind of Viking throwback like a Scandinavian equivalent of Paleo. While its true the Vikings ate locally sourced produce, including lean meat and vegetables, its doubtful it would have resembled the Nordic diet.
The Nordic diet is based on eating modern foods that are readily available in Scandinavia today. Canola oil is a fairly modern invention, as are low fat dairy products. So dont be fooled into thinking youre basically a Viking if you grab a handful of berries and eat them with some skyr!
But does the Nordic diet represent how modern Scandinavians eat? Wellyes and no!
Obviously Nordic folk are known to eat a lot of fish. Norway and Iceland pretty much lead the world in per capita fish consumption and the Swedes and the Danes arent far behind.
The other foods on the menu, such as dense whole-grain breads like rye and pumpernickel, similar to the Danish rugbrød and Swedish crispbreads, are also widely eaten. And Scandinavians do also eat a decent amount of plant protein along with their animal protein.
As with all things, however, the real picture is a mixture. Nordic countries have all of the same highly-processed, nutrient-poor foods that contribute to the obesity epidemic in much of the Western world. And dont forget, the de-facto national dish of Norway is the frozen pizza, Grandiosa!
Has this convinced you to give the Nordic diet a try? Let us know in the comments.
Risks And Side Effects
Generally speaking, this NND diet is very safe for people of all ages to follow. If you have a history of chronic disease and take medications, its best to get your doctors opinion before altering your diet or starting a new protocol.
That being said, there are little risks associated with this plan, assuming you aim for balanced meals that include a variety of food groups.
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Isnt This Just The Mediterranean Diet
If youre familiar with the various eating schemes that have been promoted for healthy living, youll likely be aware of the Mediterranean diet. Said to promote heart health, this is another seafood-rich diet with whole grains and as much local produce as possible.
The main difference between this and the Nordic diet is that the Mediterranean version includes olive oil. Instead of this, the Nordic diet focuses on Canola or rapeseed oil, or rapsolje in Norwegian. It is a much easier source of oil to grow in a northern climate.
The two oils are fairly similar, being low in saturated fats. Canola oil is actually healthier in this respect, though olive oil contains higher levels of healthy antioxidants.
Canola oil is also a better cooking oil, as it can tolerate higher temperatures before starting to smoke and degrade. Overall, both ways of eating are much healthier than the carb-, sugar- and fat-heavy diets that many of us eat in the West.
Analysis doesnt show much difference in outcome between the two, but the Nordic diet is newer and so has been studied much less.
What Is Nordic Diet: Benefits Food List And Meal Plan
The mainstays of a Nordic diet are seasonal, plant-based foods with a moderate amount of fish and seafood with a small amount of processed food. The Nordic diet serves as the foundation for many peoples eating habits, even though it is not a diet that is universally adopted throughout the Nordic region. You could use inspiration from Nordic countries to lead a healthier lifestyle through this diet. In this article, well learn more about the Nordic diet and everything you need to know about this diet.
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What To Eat On The Dash Diet
According to Erin Kenney, Registered Dietitian and CEO of Nutrition Rewired , the DASH diet is rich in vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. It also includes fat-free or low-fat dairy products, fish, poultry, beans, and nuts. The DASH diet limits foods that are high in saturated fat, which includes fatty meats and full-fat dairy products.
This way of eating puts an emphasis on getting plenty of dietary fiber and limiting sodium intake because too much salt is bad for you. High-fiber foods include fresh fruits, including apples, bananas, berries, and stone fruit. Its best to limit high-sugar fruits such as canned, in-syrup or dried. Vegetables like leafy greens, broccoli, carrots, and cauliflower are also high in fiber, as are whole grains like quinoa, farro, brown rice, and barley.
You can enjoy dairy on the DASH diet, but its important to reach for low-fat options, such as skim or 1% milk and low-fat yogurt. Likewise, with meat and poultry, lean, skinless chicken breast, pork tenderloin, lean ground beef, and seafood are great options. Avoid processed deli meats, which are often full of sodium.
Packaged snack foods, such as crackers, chips, and cookies, also tend to be high in sodium, sugar, and refined oils and low in fiber. Check the nutrition labels to manage your daily sodium intake.
The Best Foods To Eat On The Norwegian Diet
Youve heard all about the Mediterranean Diet, the Keto Diet, the Paleo Diet, the Anti-Inflammatory Diet, and more, but theres yet another healthy diet that deserves some recognition. The Norwegian Dietalso called the Nordic Diettouts tremendous health and heart benefits, as staples include whole grains, berries, root vegetables, nuts, and seafood. Its similar to the Mediterranean diet, with the main differences being that the Norwegian diet emphasizes canola oil instead of olive oil and limits alcohol.
It originated in the Nordic regionwhich includes Norway, Iceland, Finland, Denmark, and Sweden. What is grown locally and what’s available by sea has a strong influence in what is at the core, says Maggie Michalczyk, MS, RD.
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What You Need To Know
There are no particular guidelines on the Nordic diet for meal timing and when to eat. But the diet’s originators do suggest that people eat mindfully and communally. Share meals with family and friends, and sit at the table instead of eating on the go.
You dont need to fill your kitchen with Scandinavian fare to enjoy a Nordic-style dietjust stock up on the fruits and vegetables you already love and add lots of berries, fish, and whole grains. Switch to canola oil and low-fat dairy products and youre all set.
The Nordic diet is flexible enough to accommodate other dietary needs, such as dairy-free, gluten-free, or vegetarian plans. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or have small children who eat fish, you will need to watch the mercury levels in the fish you are eating and serving.
Added sugars and sweetened beverages
At least 25% of the Nordic diet’s calories come from whole grain products such as rye, barley, and oats. It also includes brown rice, whole grain pasta, and plenty of whole-grain bread. Whole grain and rye cereals are allowed as long as they don’t contain added sugar or honey.
Fruits, Vegetables, and Berries
The Nordic diet includes at least 1 cup of fruit and 1 cup of vegetables each day, preferably organic, in-season, and locally grown. Apples, pears, potatoes, root vegetables, and cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage are recommended.
Does It Aid Weight Loss
Several studies have assessed the weight loss effects of the Nordic diet.
In one study in 147 obese people instructed not to restrict calories, those on a Nordic diet lost 10.4 pounds , while those eating a typical Danish diet lost only 3.3 pounds .
However, in a follow-up study a year later, the Nordic-diet participants had gained most of the weight back .
These results are very typical for long-term studies on weight loss. People lose weight in the beginning but then gradually gain it back over 12 years.
Another 6-week study supports the weight-reducing effects of the Nordic diet, as the Nordic diet group lost 4% of their body weight significantly more than those on a standard diet .
The Nordic diet appears to be effective for short-term weight loss even without restricting calories. Still as with many weight loss diets you may regain lost weight over time.
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Nuts Seeds And Legumes
These foods provide a whole lot of bang for your buck and play an important role in any healthy diet.
For a little hit of protein and some healthy fats, snack on almonds and walnuts and sprinkle seeds of all kinds on your salads or oatmeal. I like chia, flax, sunflower and pepitas .
Legumes are great sources of plant-based protein so include a variety of lentils, beans, and yellow and green peas.
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Theres also a focus on eating organic produce when possible, choosing seasonal fruit and vegetables, eating more wild foods, choosing higher quality meat , and avoiding food additives, she explains. All of these principles keep you healthy and nourished.
If youre looking to try the Norwegian Diet, start integrating these foods into your meal plan. Luckily, theyre all delicious!
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Other Benefits Of The Nordic Diet
Just like I have emphasized from the beginning of this article, the Nordic diet is all about healthy eating. So apart from quick weight loss, there are other benefits associated with the Nordic diet.
The first is that it improves metabolic health and lowers the risk of chronic diseases such as high blood pressure. It also helps to control cholesterol and triglycerides keeping them at healthy levels.
You are also sure to have your blood sugar under control when you adopt the Nordic diet. Furthermore, this diet helps to reduce chronic inflammation which is the driver of most serious diseases.
Another good quality of the Nordic diet is that it does not bother you about the timing of your meals. You are simply expected to be mindful of your eating.
That healthy food make up the diet does not mean that you should overeat, remember that you are looking to lose weight.
So be careful not to eat too much of the good stuff. The Nordic diet also encourages communal feeding eating with family, eating with friends and sitting at the table for meals.
Again, subscribing to the Nordic diet is quite easy. You can start by keeping a huge stock of the vegetables and fruits that you love. You will do well to include a lot of berries. Then, you add in a lot of fish and whole grains.
And also replace whichever oil you are used to with the canola oil. Finally, you will need low-fat dairy products and you are ready to kick off the Nordic diet.