Nordic Diet: What Is It and What Can You Eat?

It looks like there’s a brand new food regimen invented daily. There are many choices which have caught our consideration, just like the flexitarian food regimen, “The 100” food regimen or the fruitarian food regimen — simply to call a number of.

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But for those who’ve heard of the Nordic food regimen (also called the Scandinavian food regimen), you could be curious what it’s all about and if it’s simply one other fad food regimen.

The Nordic food regimen, which relies on rules which have been round for hundreds of years, promotes a wholesome method of consuming by specializing in domestically sourced fruits, greens and wild seafood. 

Registered dietitian Courtney Barth, RD, explains what the Nordic food regimen is, what meals are included and if it could be best for you.

What is the Nordic food regimen?

Very much like the Mediterranean food regimen, the Nordic food regimen focuses on entire meals which are sometimes present in Nordic areas like Norway, Denmark and Iceland. You’ll eat largely plant-based, seasonal meals which are excessive in protein, advanced carbohydrates and wholesome fat. Think fruits (particularly berries), greens and seafood.

One distinction, although, is the kind of oil every food regimen makes use of. The Mediterranean food regimen focuses on utilizing extra-virgin olive oil, whereas the Nordic food regimen touts canola oil. Canola oil has much less saturated fats than extra-virgin olive oil and can be utilized in cooking and baking at a better temperature than olive oil. It needs to be famous that almost all canola oil accessible within the U.S. is processed and lacks antioxidants in comparison with olive oil.

“Generally, both are good unsaturated, healthy anti-inflammatory oils,” says Barth.

The Nordic food regimen encourages individuals to eat much less sugar and twice the quantity of fiber and seafood than conventional Western diets.

Benefits of the Nordic food regimen

By specializing in consuming entire meals like fruit and veggies, the Nordic food regimen can have an effect on your well being in a constructive method. Here are some potential advantages:

“For people who have arthritis or joint pain incorporating more whole foods can be the way to reduce inflammation further,” says Barth.

Foods to eat

The Nordic food regimen encourages you to eat a whole lot of entire meals, significantly sourced domestically and in season, together with:

  • Whole grains, significantly rye, barley and oats.
  • Fruits, particularly berries.
  • Vegetables, particularly root greens like beets, turnips and carrots.  
  • Fatty fish like salmon, tuna, sardines and mackerel.
  • Low-fat dairy like Skyr yogurt.
  • Legumes.

You also needs to eat the next carefully:

  • Eggs.
  • Game meat like venison, rabbit and bison.

“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,” says Barth.  

Foods to keep away from

Like many diets, the Nordic food regimen has a handful of meals to keep away from or solely take pleasure in not often.


  • Other purple meats that aren’t sport meat.
  • Alcoholic drinks.


  • Foods with added sugars.
  • Processed meats like bacon and bologna.
  • High salt meals like lunch meat, dried pasta and bread.
  • Fast meals.
  • Sweetened drinks.

“Anything that’s really high in saturated fat and high in sugar is inflammatory to the body,” says Barth. “It causes the body to be stressed out.”

Is the Nordic food regimen best for you?

With a deal with consuming domestically sourced meals, following the Nordic food regimen could be a good method to check out native farmers markets in your space.

“Many of them will have a variety of booths with farmers who harvest fruits and vegetables that are in season,” says Barth. “You can also ask your local grocery store if they carry local produce and products.”

For some, following the Nordic food regimen might be difficult resulting from availability of native produce. It does take planning, so the time and dedication might be a problem for some. Since produce like lingonberries and cloudberries aren’t accessible within the U.S., chances are you’ll want to switch what you eat primarily based on what’s accessible in your space.

But whether or not you deal with the native side of sourcing meals, the Nordic food regimen is an effective roadmap for getting your self into a sensible consuming sample. It may even be modified for vegans and vegetarians by including extra plant-based meals into your food regimen.

“The approach to the Nordic diet is more of a guideline that can be really sustainable for someone,” says Barth. “It’s just the basics and not overthinking or complicating what you eat.”

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