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Move Over Mediterranean

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Nordic Diet recognized by World Health Organization

There is a new diet in town. Foodies have enjoyed the “New Nordic” diet in restaurants for a few years now, think world-renowned restaurant NOMA and others like Aska featuring simple Scandinavian flavors and indigenous vegetables. Recently the World Health Organization stated that there may be reason beyond taste to indulge in Nordic cuisine; they say it’s just as healthy as the Mediterranean diet, linked to weight loss, decreased risk of heart disease, diabetes and even Alzheimer’s.

Not familiar with Nordic staples? It’s based off the Baltic Sea Food Pyramid, and is described as abundant in berries and fruits, fatty fish (salmon, mackerel and herring) and lean fish too. It’s rich in legumes, vegetables specifically cabbage and root veggies like potatoes, carrots and beets as well as whole grains including barley, oats and rye, while the main fat is rapeseed oil otherwise known as canola.

When you think about it, both diets follow the same basic principles; choose fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins and cut out added sugars. The two diets simply vary on what is locally available in the region without limiting any food group. The Nordic diet swaps Italian seasonal vegetables like tomatoes and squash for Nordic cabbage, peas and parsnips. Italian figs, cherries swapped for lingonberries, garlic for dill and so on. Both diets encourage eating less red meat and even fewer sweets. Guidelines for the Nordic diet epitomize lifestyle change, including recommendations to eat more home-cooked food and instruct followers to produce less food waste.

Don’t get overwhelmed with overhauling your diet – not everyone lives on the Mediterranean or in Scandinavia so a blend of both diets may be what’s best for you! Or maybe a version that features produce and proteins local to where you live? When in doubt, go back to the foundation of any good diet:

  1. Load up on fruits and vegetables
  2. Choose whole grains
  3. Choose lean proteins
  4. Choose sweets and snacks less often

To add some Nordic flair to your dinner tonight, try our Grilled Salmon with Citrus Salsa and Baby Greens.

Published August 1, 2018

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