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Nordic diet, as good as the Mediterranean one?

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The Nordic diet is a northern European food pattern based on fish, whole grains and rapeseed oil. Discover its benefits endorsed by the WHO, and its similarities and differences with the Mediterranean diet.

The nutritional benefits of the Mediterranean diet have always been praised worldwide. It is highly integrated in the gastronomy and lifestyle of the area that bathes this sea, but it seems that it has come up with a serious competitor from northern Europe: the Nordic diet. Discover what this type of diet is based on, which has even been recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) in a 2018 report, in which they put the advantages and effectiveness of both the Nordic and Mediterranean diets on the same level in the reduction of noncommunicable diseases.

What is the Nordic diet?

The Nordic diet, is a food pattern framed in the countries of northern Europe, such as Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland and Iceland, and which is based on the Baltic Sea Diet Pyramid, that is, the use of locally produced, seasonal food, and under the premise of respect and recovery of the culinary customs of the culture of the territory.

Although the food guidelines for the Nordic countries are well known among European food recommendations, with a long tradition of study and science behind them, the potential of the Nordic diet reappears at the end of 2004 with the manifesto by the New Nordic Cuisine of several chefs, through which they claim and value the prominence of the foods typical of those latitudes, seasonality, simplicity, health, animal welfare, culinary and gastronomic tradition, etc., as basic values.

Berries and fruits of the forest

Berries and forest fruits such as raspberries, strawberries, blueberries or blackberries are the most consumed fruits in the Nordic diet. Not only are they delicious and versatile, but they are also very healthy for our bodies.

According to some research, berries, especially blueberries, could help us reduce our pressure as well as the stiffness in them. Apparently that could help improve our cardiovascular health by delaying the onset of problems such as hypertension. In short, a delicious way to take care of our health.

Oats, rye and barley

They are whole grain, unrefined cereals and a source of healthy carbohydrates. In addition, these foods contain other benefits such as the high protein content of oats, the fiber levels of barley or the B vitamins and iron provided by rye.

Among other things, the consumption of these types of whole grains could help improve our cardiovascular health, as well as regulate our blood sugar levels. Ideally, if we are going to consume flours or bread, they should be 100% wholemeal and come from this type of cereal. In this way, we will avoid refined flours and breads coming from them

Main foods in the Nordic diet

Dr. Juan José López Gómez, a specialist in Endocrinology and Nutrition has explained to Webconsultas that the Nordic diet is based on the use of whole grains, fruits, vegetables, three portions of fish per week -preferably oily fish-, skimmed milk products and avoiding sugary products, food additives and excess meat (or taking it of higher quantity). In addition, a difference with the Mediterranean is the use of rapeseed or canola oil as the base for cooking, instead of olive oil.

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