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Good-Bye Mediterranean Diet, Hello Nordic Diet

Dorathy Gass

For years, we have been hearing about the health and heart benefits that a traditional Mediterranean diet can bring. Research has indicated in the past that those who follow this way of eating can decrease their chances of death from heart disease and cancer, as well as reduce the risk of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases. Well it’s time to take a step back Mediterranean cuisine! Apparently there is a new diet in town; stemming from the Nordic countries.

Created in 2004, the Nordic Diet may not be that new of a concept, but thanks to recent studies indicating that it could be the healthiest way of eating; it has been catapulted into the spotlight. Created by a group of Danish chefs and nutritionists, the diet is outlined by a 10 point manifesto, with the foundation of the diet built around meal planning that includes locally grown, fresh, and seasonal foods. This is because the Nordic diet focuses on the celebration of Nordic-grown foods within this region. While the Mediterranean and Nordic diets are similar in the sense that they both have an emphasis on plant-based foods, and moderate protein and fat consumption, with a focus on fish and poultry; the Nordic diet has an increased focus on organically grown foods, and root vegetables. The Mediterranean diet has its olive oil, tomatoes, cucumbers, nuts, and legumes, versus the canola oil, berries, and white potatoes within the Nordic diet. The Nordic diet manifesto also is specific when it comes to its meat, and the promotion of animal welfare: where meat should be organically raised, free range, or caught naturally to consume.

Undoubtedly, the Nordic diet can bring a unique culinary experience and character to your day; but what about the health benefits? The Journal of Internal Medicine published a study in 2013 which indicated that the diet could lower your cholesterol, and decrease inflammation for those who suffer with metabolic syndrome. In 2014, the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition also revealed a study which concluded the diet could help with weight loss, and decrease blood pressure for those who deal with obesity. Finally, earlier this month the University of Eastern Finland produced a study on how a Nordic diet could potentially decrease the type of fatty tissue inflammation which comes with being overweight.

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