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What Is the Nordic Diet? Here’s What You Need to Know

It seems like we’re on a constant quest to find the perfect and most effective diet. For a while now, we’ve heard nutritionists and dieters alike rave about the Mediterranean diet (and for good reason — it’s been proven to help in fighting heart disease and even losing weight), the flexitarian diet (which relies on a mostly vegetarian meal plan with some meat dishes sprinkled in), and on the ever evolving debate between low-fat and low-carb diets. But now we have another that has captivated our nutritional debate space: the Nordic diet.

The Nordic countries have already given us hygge, as well as many beauty brands that help us transform our skin into a more youthful state, and now we can take a note or two from them about.

Which foods are highlighted?

The Nordic diet most closely resembles the The Baltic Sea Diet Pyramid, which was created by the Finnish Heart Association, the Finnish Diabetes Association and the University of Eastern Finland.

Specifically, Nordic vegetables like “roots, cabbages, peas, and Nordic fruits and berries” are most important. Grains, such as rye, oats, and barley, should be consumed with moderation, and fish (like salon and herring), low-fat, fat-free milk products, and rapeseed oil, or rather canola oil (much like the reliance on olive oil in the Mediterranean diet) are also notable.

When it comes to drinks, water is the number one option, the Baltic Sea Diet Pyramid notes, and “alcohol intake should be restricted and consumed at most at a moderate consumption level.”

The biggest difference with the Mediterranean is the Nordic diet’s reliance on root vegetables — which are generally more prominent in the northern countries because of the climate — as well as Skyr yogurt and canola oil.

How can it affect your health and weight?

View this post on Instagram

🍓FRUIT SKYR BOWL🍓 What do you make for dinner when it’s about a gazillion degrees outside?! Throw some fruit in a bowl with some skyr and call it a DAY👏🏽 Already dreading having to work in this heat tomorrow morning, but I have two weeks left at my summer job before I take a few weeks off before school so you bet I’m working my booty off until then😅 Decided to share this because it’s not a recipe, just a few things in a bowl! Perfect for when you’re on a time crunch or just feeling lazy, but still a healthy filling meal/snack! Hope today was a great start to your weekend🤩 . . . dEATS: 1 container of @siggisdairy vanilla skyr + 1 diced pink lady apple (da best kind of apple) + some diced strawberries + a drizzle of @barneybutter almond butter + a dash of cinnamon 🌟

A post shared by jen | she/her (@jen.chavarria) on

Much like the Mediterranean diet, the Nordic diet is praised for its ability to fight cardiovascular disease and power to help reduce the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, and it has even been promoted for its ability to help fight and lower inflammation.

If your primary goal is to lose weight, the Nordic diet could be a natural fit. A 2014 study found that the Nordic diet can significantly help to reduce body weight and even help lower blood pressure, if followed correctly. The diet, as a whole, has even been a favorite of the World Health Organization (WHO), which is encouraging people to implement either the Mediterranean or Nordic diets into their existing routines.

But more than just being helpful to your heart and your waistline, the Nordic diet can also be impactful on the environment. Because the plan relies heavily on vegetables (you’re meant to stack more than half of your dinner plate with greens and other veggies), it’s much more eco-friendly than your typical meat-containing diet.

Much like plogging — a running/litter pick-up hybrid that emerged from Sweden just last year — the diet has a focus on helping the planet by limiting, or at least seriously cutting back on, red meat and other typically farmed proteins.

So with the green and health positives all coming from a start with the Nordic diet, what’s not to love?

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