You’ve heard of the Mediterranean diet, but now the Nordic diet is here to show us all how to really eat well.
Last year you couldn’t open a magazine without somebody extolling the virtues of the Mediterranean diet. Everything was leafy greens, fruits, a bit of fish, and a metric boat-load of olive oil.
Which is all well and good if you like that sort of thing, but what if you want something more? Something heartier? Something with a little, say, bison meat?
Then the Nordic diet is for you! As the name suggests, it’s based around the healthy eating habits of those who live in the Nordic countries of Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, and Iceland. It focuses on fatty fish, like salmon, mackerel, and herring, as well as berries and root vegetables–basically the sort of things that the Vikings used to eat.
The biggest difference between the Mediterranean diet and the Nordic one is the lack of tropical fruits (for obvious reasons), a lack of high-fat meats like sausage and bacon, and a focus on canola oil (also known as rapeseed oil) over olive oil.
Canola oil has been shown to reduce LDL (or “bad”) cholesterol just as well as olive oil, and some experts think that it might even be better than olive oil for cardiovascular health.
The World Health Organization found that both the Nordic and Mediterranean diets were great for reducing your chances of developing cancer, diabetes, and heart disease, although they declined to crown an overall winner. The reality is, they’re both great options, but the Nordic diet might a little bit more reasonable for those with a meat and potatoes kind of background.
Some Nordic diet foods include berries, potatoes, carrots, beans, nuts, legumes, low-fat dairy, whole grains, beets, parsnips, broccoli, spinach, kale, eggs, and fish. A Nordic breakfast might be oatmeal with apple slices, while a Nordic lunch might be a spinach salad with raspberries in vinaigrette.
And if you have the cash, consider bison: it’s a traditionally Nordic meat that’s both lean and incredibly nutritious.
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