Move Over Med, This Is the New Diet to Live By

If you’re looking to make tweaks to your diet and want to embrace some healthy changes, take inspiration from the Nordic diet, which is consumed by those living in the Nordic countries of Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Finland and Iceland.

Emphasising traditional foods and local produce, the Nordic diet is a more seasonal and sustainable one than many. Low in unhealthy foods laden with additives, like processed meats and trans fats, the Nordic diet is high in nutritional wholegrains, with at least 25% of dietary intake coming from ingredients such as fruit and vegetables, nuts, seeds and rye bread, all of which help lower cholesterol and the risk of many chronic diseases, including heart disease. Compared to an average Western diet, it contains less sugar and fat but twice the fibre and seafood.

Unlike the Mediterranean diet which uses olive oil, the Nords mostly use rapeseed oil. A healthy option that’s naturally low in saturated fat and high in unsaturated fat, rapeseed oil is a great source of vitamin E, which helps support eye and skin health. Another staple in the Nordic diet are berries, with blueberries, strawberries, raspberries and lingonberries all growing locally and all featuring heavily. Low in calories and high in vitamins and minerals, eating berries everyday is a great way to get plenty of free radical fighting antioxidants into your diet. While most of us could benefit from eating more brain-boosting fatty acids such as omega-3, the Nordic diet places fatty fish at its heart, with salmon, herring and mackerel all eaten regularly.

Better still, those who live in Nordic countries could teach us a thing or two about how to eat mindfully too, with many sharing slower, communal meals with friends and family instead of rushing mealtimes and eating on the go.