You are from the North, and have difficulties integrating a Mediterranean diet in your eating habits ? Then try the Northern diet, advises a researcher at the University of Copenhagen. The new Nordic diet specifically created to combine the sometimes conflicting interests of health, food and sustainability, not only contributes to weight control and reduced blood pressure, but is also made from dished prepared by chefs from one of the best restaurants in the world, Noma in Copenhagen. Its benefits have just been presented with supporting figures at the Congress of the European Society of Cardiology.
The Author, Meinert Larsen, explains that the diet was at first developed for the Danes who may have some difficulties to wedge their eating habits in the Mediterranean way.
Its components, suggested by renowned chefs, have been selected for their Nordic (and biological) identity. The Opus Diet (Optimal well-being, development and health for Danish Children through a healthy New Nordic Diet) consists of 15 food groups : fruit and vegetables (especially berries, cabbage, roots and legumins), apples, potatoes, fresh herbs, plants and mushrooms collected in the wild, nuts, whole grains, meat, fish and shellfish, algae.
We will enjoy baked cod with celery or a grilled fresh water pike with cabbage. If all the ingredients are not necessarily adapted for everyone, some basic foods are, and the diet may be adjusted by each according to his habits.
A seasonal food: It’s also a concept of local, seasonary and biological food with a focus on “foraged food”, says the author, because they taste better and generally contain larger amounts of vitamins and minerals than the conventionally cultivated plants.
Effects on stress and health : This diet was tested during 26 weeks on 181 men and women with central obesity (waist circumference> 94 cm for men and> 80 cm for women). 113 participants received the Nordic diet, 68 a standard diet consumed by the Danish population. Participants assigned to the northern diet also received a cookbook containing 180 recipes with the principles of menus for each season, patients assigned to the standard diet received a book containing 99 classic recipes.
After 26 weeks of such schemes participants assigned to the northern diet vs control diet showed:
- an average weight loss of 4.7 (± 0.5) versus 1.5 kg (± 0.5) kg,
- greater reduction in systolic blood pressure (-5.1 mm Hg) and diastolic blood pressure (-3.2 mmHg) vs standard diet.
It is difficult to apply the Nordic Diet perfectly, however, this initiative shows that the concept of eating healthy, regional or local, sustainable, seasonal and gourmet at the same time, relevant worldwide can contribute to better cardiovascular health.