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Scandinavian diet, also known as the Nordic diet is a diet that helps reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Proponents of this diet claim that it can effectively improve overall health.
What is the Scandinavian diet?
Scandinavian diet has its roots in the traditional way of eating in countries such as Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Finland and Iceland. It was developed in 2004 by a group of scientists and nutritionists, to find a way to prevent the increasing number of obese people in the Nordic countries.
This diet compared to other popular in the Western countries foods contain less sugar, less fat and twice as many of fiber fish and seafood.
What is the basis of Scandinavian diet?
In the Nordic diet, it is important to consume foods that are available locally and provide a sustainable food source, with a focus on healthy products.
The most important components of the diet Scandinavian, are:
- fruits, berries, vegetables, legumes, potatoes, whole grains, nuts, seeds, rye bread, fish, seafood, low-fat dairy products, herbs, spices, and canola oil.
Forbidden are sweets, sweetened drinks, the addition of sugars, meat, fortified foods or fast food.
Nordic diet is similar to the Mediterranean diet, but the difference is that in here essential is canola oil instead of olive oil. Also, the Scandinavian diet emphasizes the advantages of the traditional food of the Nordic countries, strongly underlines plant foods and foods of marine origin.
The basic principles of Nordic diet
- Eat more vegetables and fruits (berries, cabbage, root vegetables, legumes, potatoes, and herbs).
- Eat whole grains (especially rye, oats, and barley).
- Introduce to the diet more food from the seas and lakes.
- Eat higher quality meat but in moderation.
- Bet on organic products.
- Avoid artificial additives in food.
- Bet on seasonal products, the best cooking them at home.
- Produce less waste material.
Scandinavian diet and health and weight loss
As is apparent from several studies Scandinavian diet may have a slimming effect, which is extremely positive, due to it does not require the restrictive counting of calories. This diet also helps to improve the health of metabolism and reduces the risk of various types of chronic diseases.
Also, Nordic diet can improve various health markers like:
- blood pressure – especially in obese people can be seen a definite improvement in the systolic and diastolic blood pressure, also reduces diastolic blood pressure in people with metabolic syndrome,
- cholesterol and triglycerides – Nordic diet can very favorably influence the health of the heart and according to some studies, may cause a decrease in blood triglyceride levels, may additionally slightly lower plasma cholesterol levels,
- blood sugar – Nordic diet may slightly lower the blood sugar levels,
- inflammation – chronic inflammation is a major cause of many serious diseases, and as shown by numerous studies, Nordic diet may reduce the expression of genes involved in inflammatory processes in the fatty tissues of the body.
Scandinavian diet is an excellent choice for environmental protection, emphasizing the importance of locally grown food and balanced farming. It can be a good way to improve the overall health – especially supporting the cardiovascular system. It is a diet that allows you to lose weight effectively.
The philosophy of the Scandinavian diet is based on eating large amounts of fish and berries, focusing on their natural origin, local crops, and seasonality. Limiting the intake of a red meat helps to reduce saturated fats in the diet, and supplied with fish and seafood omega fatty acids, enhance the health of our heart, brain, joints, eyes, nervous system and improves the mood.
Berries are a wealth of antioxidants, which are an excellent protection against cancer, heart diseases, and strokes. Consumption of bread based on rye, enriches our menu in fiber, magnesium, B group vitamins, iron, zinc and many others. This helps to manage blood sugar, lowers cholesterol levels and promotes intestinal health. Similar effects have eaten by Scandinavians root vegetables and potatoes, which are a valuable source of magnesium, potassium and fiber. Rapeseed oil, in turn, is rich in monounsaturated fats, which are the guarantee of a healthy heart.