Variety in the culinary world isn’t restricted to the calorie-laden dishes, the very mention of some of which makes one’s mouth water. There’s a lot that the health-conscious can dig into, numerous diets that many other swear by to shed the extra kilos and look their fittest best. What’s the latest health food trend you wonder? The Nordic diet is the answer.
As the name suggests, it’s all about eating foods that are popularly consumed in Nordic countries such as Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden. With nutritionists Kavita Devgan and Tapasya Mundara’s help, here’s all you need to know about it.
What does it include?
The diet puts emphasis on fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, herring along with berries, root vegetables such as potatoes and carrots; and nuts, legumes, low-fat diary with grains as well. Also, there is no scope for processed foods and high fat meats like sausage or bacon. It’s one of the healthiest diets because it emphasises on plant-based foods. The breads consumed are made with whole-grain barley, oats, and rye. In Denmark, Rugbrød, a dark sourdough, is popular. In Sweden, Wasa crispbread, made from whole grains, is a staple. Both breads are a good source of fibre, multivitamins and antioxidants.
In Nordic diet, the lunch is light, and includes rye breads, salads, fermented products, pickles and herrings; along with vegetables. For dinner, the emphasis is on fish along with vegetables. At times, the food is served with umami paste for taste.
How it’s different from Mediterranean diet
The similarities between Nordic and Mediterranean diet are that they both focus on plant-based foods. However, the difference is that in Mediterranean diet, olive oil is used whereas in Nordic, rapeseed oil (canola oil) is used.
Since it focuses on local and fresh ingredients, this diet is considered to be environment friendly. Plant-based diets use fewer resources and create less pollution compared to meat-based diets. Besides, eating locally reduces energy consumption and food waste.
Due to its low-sugar and salt content, the World Health Organisation has praised the diet for helping lower the risk of cancer, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. It also helps lower blood pressure.