The Mediterranean diet is hailed the best diet to follow for healthy living and can also aid weight loss. But according to nutrition experts, there is a new diet plan that is said to rival the Mediterranean, the Nordic diet. Those who follow the Nordic diet for a month can see weight loss results of up to 8lbs. So what does it involve and how is it different to the Mediterranean diet?
What is the Nordic diet?
The Nordic diet is based on principles that have been around for centuries.
It promotes a healthy way of eating by focusing on locally sourced fruits, vegetables and wild seafood.
Similarly to the Mediterranean diet, the Nordic diet focuses on whole foods typically found in the Nordic regions like Norway, Denmark and Iceland.
One difference, though, is the type of oil used.
The Mediterranean diet focuses on using extra-virgin olive oil, while the Nordic diet opts for canola oil.
Canola oil has less saturated fat than extra-virgin olive oil and can be used in cooking and baking at a higher temperature than olive oil.
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What can you eat with the Nordic diet?
People who follow the Nordic diet eat mostly plant-based, seasonal foods that are high in protein, complex carbohydrates and healthy fats.
The diet also consists of heartier foods that are grown in colder climates, such as root vegetables like carrots, turnips and beets, fruits including plums, apples and berries, and fish like herring, tuna, salmon, sardines and mackerel.
Fermented foods like dairy (kefir) and fish are also included as they offer good gut friendly probiotic bacteria.
Eggs and game meat like venison and rabbit should be eating in moderation.
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“Game meat is a good source of lean protein and is lower in saturated fat compared to red meats, which should be consumed once or twice a week,”Registered dietitian Courtney Barth, RD explained.
Other red meats that aren’t game and alcoholc should be enjoyed rarely.
There are some foods that should be avoided altogether; foods with added sugar, processed meats like bacon, high salt foods like dried pasta and bread, fast food and sweetened drinks.
“Anything that’s really high in saturated fat and high in sugar is inflammatory to the body,” the expert added. “It causes the body to be stressed out.”
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Experts suggest filling half your place with vegetables, the rest should then be slow-release high-fibre carbs, rye bread, wholewheat pasta, oats, barely etc.
There should also be some room for good-quality protein like fish, or lean meat.
Fish should feature in two to three meals a week, including one to two portions of an oily variety – canned fish are just as good as fresh.
Nordic diet followers can also eat as many berries as they like.
Choose fresh when in season or frozen all year round – and they can make great low-calorie desserts.
The Nordic diet can also be modified for vegans and vegetarians by adding more plant-based foods into your diet.
“The approach to the Nordic diet is more of a guideline that can be really sustainable for someone,” Courtney added. “It’s just the basics and not overthinking or complicating what you eat.”