Nordic diet - what is it and how is it made

More than a diet, the Nordic diet is a healthy eating plan. The Nordic diet is not a method to lose weight quickly but to achieve a stable ideal weight by eating balanced meals.

Scientists and nutritionists created the Nordic diet to reduce the consumption of meat and processed foods in northern countries. (4)

In the following article, you will find out what the Nordic diet is about, its benefits, and what an example of a menu plan would look like.

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Nordic diet – what is it?

The Nordic diet is based on foods that predominate in the Nordic countries: Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Norway, and Iceland.

The allowed foods are berries, whole grains, legumes, fatty fish, and vegetable oils such as canola in the Nordic diet.

This diet’s direct benefits are achieving optimal health and reaching an ideal weight, which is why it is generally compared to the Mediterranean diet.

In addition, the Nordic diet proposes to emphasize sustainable agriculture, which is why it is considered a friendly option from an environmental point of view. So it can be said that one of its additional benefits is that it is regarded as an organic diet.

Food in the Nordic diet

The food selection of the Nordic diet is whole grains, berries, nuts, and fish with a high content of Omega-3 and legumes. Initially, the Nordic diet was raised with a higher proportion of red meat, something typical of the diet of the ancient region.

In 2010, scientists and nutritionists argued that the proportions were not the best in health and added groups of everyday healthy foods. (4) Skim dairy, a more excellent range of fruits and vegetables, and the particularity of weighing canola oil over animal fats.

The foods allowed (in more significant proportion) in the Nordic diet are:

  • Fruits
  • Berries
  • Legumes (lentils, beans, chickpeas)
  • Tubers (potatoes, beets, carrots)
  • Whole grains and cereals
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Fatty fish
  • Low-fat dairy
  • Canola Accepted
  • Herbs and spices

Foods that should be eaten in moderation are:

  • Eggs (non-industrial)
  • Cheeses
  • Yogurt
  • Seafood

Foods that should be eaten occasionally are:

  • Pork Meat
  • Red meat

The prohibited foods are:

  • Sugar
  • Sugary soft drinks
  • Industrial meat foods
  • Fast food
  • Industrial foods (cookies, sweets, unhealthy snacks)

Benefits of the Nordic diet

The Nordic diet has numerous health benefits. Scientists propose it as a healthy lifestyle that can be extended throughout life. The benefits of the Nordic diet are:

Ideal weight

The proportions of the Nordic diet raised are the best for healthily losing weight. Ultimately the Nordic diet can help you stay at your ideal weight. This is due to high-quality amounts of vegetables, fish, and carbohydrates. (2)

Lower risk of cardiovascular diseases

One of the benefits of the Nordic diet is reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease. Studies confirm that the high content of monounsaturated fats can reduce the risk of heart attacks and chronic heart diseases. (4)

Reduce bad cholesterol (LDL)

Cutting out saturated and trans fat from processed meat foods and transitioning to healthy fats like canola oil is the foundation for lowering bad cholesterol. Studies have confirmed that one of the Nordic diet’s benefits in regulating LDL levels in the blood. (4)

Less chance of cancer

Another benefit of the Nordic diet that arouses more curiosity is a lower probability of cancer. A high concentration of anthocyanins from berries and red fruits effectively reduces the chances of developing certain types of cancer. (5)

Strengthen the immune system

The Nordic diet strengthens the immune and endothelial systems as in the Mediterranean diet. This fact translates to a lower probability of having autoimmune and inflammatory diseases.

Fewer chemicals and pesticides

The Nordic diet emphasizes local agriculture without chemical fertilizers and pesticides. Creating a sustainable diet was one of the first goals when considering this eating method.

  1. Gastronomy and health combined.

The Nordic diet is based on combining healthy ingredients in a gastronomic way. This is one of the most important benefits, not only for the pleasure of eating but also for increasing the probability of sticking to a healthy diet and putting it off.

Example of daily menu

The following table provides an example of a menu with an approximate contribution of 2200 Kcal per day.

Nordic DIET Example of daily menu
Intake  Plato
fat yogurt 200mL Berries
30 g
Rye bread toast two units
Lean cheese 20 g
LunchTuna fillet 140 g
Canola oil 30 mL
Roasted potatoes 150 g
Fresh herbs
Afternoon snackWhole wheat bread
flax seeds, two slices
Apple 1 unit
Nuts 20 g
Jam without added sugar 10 g
priceRed lentils 100 g
Butter 10 g
Bulk wheat 100 g
Pork loin 140 g
Grapes 120 g

Nordic diet vs. Mediterranean diet – Differences

Both the Nordic and Mediterranean diets are diets with a high content of vegetables. However, in the Nordic, the quantity of foods with fiber: whole grains and bran is up to 50% higher. (3). Just the diet of the Scandinavian countries emphasizes sustainable and local cultivation, which makes it friendlier in terms of carbon footprint.

The Mediterranean diet food pyramid

Another difference between the Nordic and Mediterranean diets is the oil they use. In the Mediterranean, it is olive, and in the Nordic, it is canola. Both oils are high in healthy fats, so it doesn’t make a big difference nutritionally.

The nordic diet food pyramid


The Nordic diet is a food method based on traditional northern European products.

In nutritional terms, it is similar to the Mediterranean diet with the difference in the use of canola oil instead of olive oil, as well as it contains a higher proportion of foods with fiber.

The benefits of the diet of the Scandinavian countries include health and is proposed as a model of sustainable eating.

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