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Nordic diet encourages you to incorporate more plant-based foods into your diet. Nordic diet does not cut on calories or ditch carbs; instead it focuses on eating more plant-based foods, seafood, and lean meats. It encourages you to eat more seasonal produce.
As the name suggests, the Nordic diet is a way of eating that focuses on the traditional foods of the Nordic countries (Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Finland and Iceland). The Nordic diet was created in 2004 by a group of nutritionists, scientists and chefs, in order to address growing obesity rates and unsustainable farming practices in the Nordic countries. Compared with an average Western diet, it contains less sugar, less fat, twice the fiber, and twice the fish and seafood.
It encourages you to incorporate more plant-based foods into your diet. Its staples include whole-grain cereals like rye, barley and oats; berries and other fruits; vegetables, especially cabbage and root vegetables like carrots and potatoes; fatty fish like salmon and legumes like beans and peas. Unlike most fad diets, the Nordic diet does not cut on calories or ditch carbs; instead it focuses on eating more plant-based foods.
This diet also recommends eating more organic produce whenever possible, choosing high quality meat but in moderation, choosing more seasonal produce, eating more wild foods, avoiding food additives and generating less waste.
What’s special about Nordic Diet
The Nordic diet and the Mediterranean diet are known to have a few similarities. Both of them include plenty of vegetables and fruits, plus focus on whole grains, nuts and seeds, pulses, seafood over meat, more home-cooked meals, and limit consumption of sugary and processed foods. The difference lies in the use of oil.
The Mediterranean diet recommends use of olive oil, while canola oil dominates the Nordic cuisine. Both the oils are said to have health-protective mono-unsaturated fats, which is why many health experts have deemed both the diets as equally healthy. Considering the Nordic diet may have more health benefits and is great for environment, it may rule the roost.
According to the Harvard Health Publishing by Harvard Medical School, the Nordic diet is environment friendly. Plant-based diets use fewer natural resources like fossil fuels and water and create less pollution than meat-heavy diets. The Nordic diet is surely healthy but do consult your nutritionist or dietitian to make a diet plan that suits your body.
8 Tips To Follow While on the Nordic Diet
- Incorporate seafood three times a week, and make sustainable choices.
- Replace refined grains with whole grains. Try Nordic style crackers, topped with mashed avocado or nut butter.
- Eat tree nuts or seeds daily. Add nuts to oatmeal, salads, and sprinkle on top of cooked veggies. Snack on pumpkin seeds, or whip chia or sesame seeds into smoothies.
- Include at least one serving of pulses (beans, lentils, peas, chickpeas) daily. You can make it the protein in a plant-based meal, or use pulses in place of whole grains.
- Eat less of red meat.
- Make water your beverage of choice. Aim for 16 ounces, four times a day.
- Cook at home more often. Avoid using of “shortcuts” like frozen veggies, or canned pulses.
- Remain mindful of portions, both to prevent overeating, and avoid food waste. Eating more mindfully, without distractions (like your phone, TV or laptop) can also help you naturally eat less.
What are the health benefits of Nordic Diet?
Due to its low-sugar and salt content, the WHO praises the diet for lowering the risk of cancer, diabetes and cardiovascular disease, promoting it alongside the Mediterranean diet in a recent review.
What are the key components of Nordic Diet?
A balance of legumes, seasonal fruits and vegetables, salmon and healthy seafood, nut butters, salads, and whole grains.
Does Nordic diet help in weight loss?
When you incorporate this style of diet, you end up eating more fibre and proteins which help in imprving your metabolism, which in turn helps in weight loss.
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