Anyone passionate about health and fitness would have not missed out on the Mediterranean diet for it offers a bouquet of health-related benefits. Acclaimed to promote heart health this diet remains on top of the list of healthy diet plans but isn’t it common that people start losing interest in something that’s been around for a while? The Nordic diet comes as the perfect complementary meanwhile.
Choosing a Well-travelled Path
Dieting has become a normal terminology in most people’s life where the person stays on a diet for very different reasons. While most people have the feel that any diet restricts the consumption of foods, is quite imbalanced and pushes the individual to starve there are certain diets such as the DASH diet that’s been suggested by reputed organizations and health centers as it meets all the required health criteria. The Nordic diet too is quite similar to the Mediterranean diet as both these diets include plenty of plant-based foods such as fruits, veggies, whole grains and freshwater fish and limit the consumption of salt, sugar, red meat, dairy and processed foods.
Its been rightly named as the Nordic diet owing to the inclusion of foods that are generally eaten in Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden. A staple inclusion in any Nordic diet includes berries, root veggies such as carrots and potatoes, cereals such as oats and barley, and fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel and herring. The main difference is that while the Mediterranean diet emphasizes the use of olive oil for cooking the Nordic oil favors the use of canola (or rapeseed oil) for all purposes. Although the canola oil is also a healthy monounsaturated fat it also contains plant-based omega-3 fatty acids (alpha-linolenic acid) that’s quite similar to the ones found in fish. Consuming ample berries too is a special feature of the Nordic diet and research by Harvard scientists has shown that eating ample berries such as the raspberry and blueberry helps an individual gain less weight and lower the risk of a heart attack. This is due to the presence of a plant chemical called as anthocyanin which helps to lower blood pressure.
Counting the Benefits
The Mediterranean and Nordic diet rely upon local, seasonal and sustainable foods which make them even more desirable. Sustainable in the sense these diets reduce the amount of meat consumption which reduces carbon gas emission into the atmosphere and advantageous to health owing to the inclusion of plenty of fruits, veggies and whole grains. While the Nordic diet has been around for a while the new Nordic diet that’s been developed quite recently recommends the consumption of organic produce and homemade foods while decreasing the use of food additives. The new diet focuses more on giving flavour to the foods and increasing their nutritional value.
The WHO credits both the Mediterranean and the Nordic diets on their benefits in reducing the risk of cancer, type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Studies do show the Nordic diet to be helpful in reducing inflammation of fatty tissues, lowering blood pressure levels, maintaining cholesterol levels and also losing weight. We’ve also seen acclaims for this diet in enabling the chances of pregnancy as this diet is low in processed foods and fats and high in plant-based foods such as fruits and veggies.
The Final Word
Though the Nordic diet isn’t as successful/efficient as the Mediterranean diet in treating heart disease it’s definitely way above the rest of the diet plans and seems to fit the bill perfectly. Also, the diet relies on eating seasonal produce which makes it friendly on our pocket and fresh too. For all those looking for a good diet plan that would help the body get healthier and fitter the Nordic diet is the right one for you. Get in touch with reputed dietitian nutritionists at www.firsteatright.com to customize the diet suiting your requirements and reap benefits.
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Dietitian & Nutritionist Dr. Nafeesa Imteyaz.