When in Rome, do as the Romans do. But when you want to lose weight and reduce inflammation, a diet of pizza and pasta may not be an ideal choice. Instead, do as the Nordics do. People from Scandinavian countries (Denmark, Finland, Norway, Iceland, and Sweden) have a unique and delicious way of life. Today, we’ll learn all about the Nordic diet, so you can decide whether this lifestyle is right for you.
What is the Nordic diet?
If you’ve heard of the Mediterranean diet, you’ll know it’s a diet of fresh fruits and veggies, olive oil, whole grains, beans, and nuts. Since Nordic countries have a much higher latitude and a colder climate, Scandinavians naturally have a different diet.
Foods on the Nordic diet include:
- Fatty fish – tuna, sardines, mackerel, herring, and salmon
- Whole grains like rye and barley
- Fruit – especially berries
- Vegetables – especially root veggies like turnips, beets, and potatoes
- Legumes – peas and beans
- Rapeseed oil
The diet focuses on whole foods that grow well in colder climates, and the filling foods on the list help keep you satisfied for longer. You’ll notice that the list doesn’t include:
- Processed meats
- Foods with added sugar
- Pasta and bread
- Sugary beverages
While the diet doesn’t completely preclude meats other than seafood, Nordics usually prefer lean game meat like venison or rabbit over beef or lamb, enjoyed in moderation. Consume eggs and dairy only in moderation.
Save alcohol for a special occasion because, while it’s not banned in the Nordic diet, it recommends infrequently imbibing, if at all.
Compared to an average Western diet, the Nordic diet is a drastic reduction in sugar and a major increase in fiber and seafood.
Looking for a Nordic-approved recipe? Check out our Roasted Root Vegetables with Pumpkinseed Pesto and swap the extra virgin olive oil for rapeseed oil.
What are the benefits of the Nordic diet?
While the diet promotes weight loss and the maintenance of a healthy weight, its benefits span far beyond weight loss. This diet may:
- Reduce inflammation
- Decrease the risk of cancer, heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, and other chronic illnesses
- Lower cholesterol, triglycerides, and blood pressure
This diet is especially helpful for people who suffer from joint pain due to arthritis, thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties.
Is this a magic diet? Absolutely not. Any diet that cuts out inflammatory items like sugar and processed foods is a major improvement to most Western diets. For a long-term health strategy that sticks, pair a diet rich in whole foods, like the Nordic Diet, with a fitness routine.
Do as the Nordics do when preparing meals, and follow the Enhancewell Fitness method when working out. Our private and group fitness classes are 100% online, so you can fit regular workouts into your current lifestyle— no matter what you’ve got going on or where in the world you’re based. The 50-minute classes are highly interactive with a focus on fun and form, because we know that working out with a poor posture is a recipe for injury.