We’ve all heard of them before – regional diets which reflect the naturally-occurring produce and eating patterns of the people who live in a particular geographical area (think the Mediterranean diet, etc.) But you may be surprised to learn that a region not exactly lauded for its culinary contributions to the world is suddenly the hot new recommendation of nutritionists all over the globe.
Aside from being good for your internal health, this new way of eating is also good for your waistline and your wallet! The Nordic diet, originating in the Scandinavian country of Norway, is now being celebrated as the healthiest in the world.
“There are several things I like about the Nordic diet,” said Lauri Wright, spokeswoman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and an expert dietician, in an interview with CNN. “First, it is plant-forward and reduces meat consumption. Second, the Nordic diet has a core principle of sustainability, emphasizing local and fresh, which I think is very beneficial for the environment and for health.” Lauri says it’s also great for people recovering from eating disorders, as the diet doesn’t have specific amounts required – numbers and metrics may be triggering to former anorexics or bulimics.
“The new Nordic diet is based on seasonal ingredients, and it aims to elevate the products that are available in the Nordic region,” said Roberto Flore, who is the head of culinary research and development in the Nordic food lab at the University of Copenhagen. “Techniques used to process food can be diverse and not necessarily related to past Nordic traditions of cooking.”
So just because you’re not out in the forest hunting reindeer like the Vikings did back in the day doesn’t mean you’re not eating in a real Nordic way – the diet has kept up with the times but still retains its healthy origins.