What’s all the fuss about the New Nordic Diet?

Almost every week we see a new diet being touted as the next big thing. Few diets come out on top, but the New Nordic Diet (New Nordic Diet) is up there along with its close cousin, the Mediterranean diet. We’ve taken a closer look at just why it’s meant to be so good for us…

Firstly, where does the New Nordic Diet come from?

The New Nordic Diet shares its roots with the traditional Nordic way of eating and was created in 2004 as a collaboration between the Nordic Council for Ministers and the acclaimed Copenhagen restaurant NOMA, to celebrate the simplicity of the Nordic style of eating. It’s based around seasonal, regional food with a particular focus on health, sustainability and flavour and ties in with several key food trends for 2018 and beyond, including the recent focus on plant-based foods.

So what do I eat on the New Nordic Diet?

The New Nordic Diet is often described as a ‘cooler temperature’ take on the Mediterranean diet, which is widely considered to be the best diet for preventing heart disease. It features plenty of fruit and vegetables – think berries, cabbage, root vegetables and beans, as well as peas and lentils, potatoes, herbs, mushrooms, nuts and whole grains like barley, oats and rye. Lean meat and fish is eaten occasionally with a focus on quality – all these elements are similar to the Mediterranean diet, with one key difference; followers of the New Nordic Diet use canola oil instead of the traditionally Mediterranean olive oil.

Why is it good for me?

The core elements of the New Nordic Diet help to promote good overall health, alongside providing protection against being overweight, suffering from obesity and a range of other diet related diseases.

Research on the New Nordic Diet and weight management shows that people who closely followed the New Nordic Diet lost more weight1and also gained less post-study2, compared to those following an average diet – which included refined grains, meat, dairy, confectionary and smaller amounts of low fibre fruit and veggies.

Additionally, another study showed that the New Nordic Diet can improve cardiovascular risk factors including blood lipids, insulin and blood pressure3.

Whilst data on the New Nordic Diet is limited so far, research is showing that sticking to a mostly plant-based diet and eating quality carbohydrates and whole grains, can help protect our overall health. Here’s how to eat New Nordic style for the day…

  • Start your day with a bowl of oats and berries
  • Switch your lunchtime sandwich bread to a wholemeal rye version
  • Choose whole grain crispbreads and pea hummus for an afternoon snack
  • Mix up your grains and try cooked barley with salmon for dinner instead of rice

Interested in adding more whole grains and legumes to your day? Visit our recipe section for delicious foodie inspiration.


  1. Poulsen SK., Due A., Jordy AB., et al. (2014). Health effect of the New Nordic Diet in adults with increased waist circumference: a 6-mo randomised controlled trial. Am J Clin Nutr. 99:1, 35-45. Accessed from: http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/99/1/35.long
  2. Poulson SK., C rone C., Astrup A., Larsen TM. (2015). Long-term adherence to the New Nordic Diet and the effects on body weight, anthropometry and blood pressure: a 12-month follow-up study. Eur J Nutr. 54:1. 67-76. Accessed from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24664189
  3. Adamsson V., Reumark A., Fredriksson I-B. et al. (2010). Effects of a healthy Nordic diet on cardiovascular risk factors in hypercholesterolaemic subjects: a randomised controlled trial (NORDIET). J Intern Med. 269 150-9. Accessed from: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1365-2796.2010.02290.x/full

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