If you think that diets are useless and usually come in the form of weird rules and yo-yo weight, then you’d be right. For the most part, diets are something that should only be done if your doctor and a nutritionist are watching and controlling the process. However, there are times that a diet is more like a healthy eating plan and while you should always talk to a doctor before you change, it’s okay to eat healthier.
The Nordic Diet, otherwise called the New Nordic Diet, is a healthier way of eating based on the findings of a panel of food professionals from five Nordic countries. Its “New” came from the differentiation of the old guidelines of eating healthy to the new directions of eating healthy. The diet was designed with an emphasis on seasonality, sustainability, minimal waste, and no food additives. In many ways, this dies is very similar to the Mediterranean diet. However, the main difference lies in what’s eaten due to the change in the climate.
Due to Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden’s location on a map, it’s essential for healthy eating guidelines that promote seasonality, sustainability, and minimal waste to offer things that can be grown in the countries themselves. Avoiding importing food can go a long way to being healthier and better on Earth.
Here’s what the Nordic suggest to eat:
- Small amounts of low-fat dairy
- Oily fish
- Wild game
- Vegetables local to the Nordic area
- Dark greens
- Fruits local to the Nordic area
- Whole grains, including rye, barley, and oats
It’s important to know that they suggest organic produce and meat be cooked at low temperatures so that you can obtain the most nutrients from each meal. According to the food experts, it’s best to aim for 80% locally sourced meals to reap the most reward.
As research has done into this diet, studies have taken a look at cholesterol and blood pressure. In multiple cases, researchers studying this method of eating showed improved health on all fronts. Researchers saw improved lipid levels, reductions in both systolic and diastolic blood pressure levels, and steady and controlled weight loss.
As an added bonus, another study showed that the NND could improve serum lipids and insulin sensitivity on top of the drop in blood pressure, cholesterol, and weight. Researchers were happy to see that this diet did not require a need for counting calories, taking out solid foods, or requiring otherwise strange ways of eating to promote life changes.
How Can You Do It
Unless you live in a Nordic country, this exact dies won’t work for you. However, you can take the principles of it to make your own healthy eating plan. In ten short rules, you can create a method of eating healthy and forming sustainable change in your life.
- Eat more fruits and vegetables
- Cook more homemade meals from scratch
- Stick to whole grains like oats, rye, and barley
- Eat more seafood and less meat but try to stick to wild game and fish
- Try to get at least 80% local fruits and vegetables
- Try to shop as much organic as possible
- Cook according to the season for the most local and healthy foods
- Avoid packaged and processed foods
- Cook food by baking and grilling rather than frying
- Use low-fat diaries sparingly
Tips for Starting a Healthy Lifestyle
The best way to change to a healthy lifestyle is to do it slowly and with determination. If you go in and try to change everything about yourself in one day, chances are it won’t stick. Instead, you should change one thing at a time until you’re all the way there. Start by getting low-fat dairy products for a month. After that, reduce the amount of meat you are eating by one meal each week.
Go on like this adding in more rules until you are reached a healthier way of living. By taking it slowly, you are giving your mind and body a chance to get used to the idea. It’s also not a failure. With each addition, you are becoming healthier over time. Though you may not be able to see results right away, if you stick to the plan you will feel them soon enough.
Though you may not be able to eat like a Nordic, you can take the idea and become a healthier person. Look at the healthy trends that are the basis of their diet and use those to make your life better. Remember that change doesn’t happen overnight and that it’s okay to mess up along the way. Also, a healthy change is for life. While this may be called a diet, in many ways this is a lifestyle change to be healthier for longer.
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