“The Mediterranean Diet”, a diet consisting mostly of fish, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and olive oil has quickly taken center-stage as an effective lifestyle to prevent some chronic diseases and help prevent strokes and heart attacks. However, in the Nordic region, many countries are unable to adapt this healthful lifestyle because many products used in the diet, such as olive oil, are not readily available.
Nutritionist researchers in this region have begun to develop an alternative to the “Mediterranean Diet” that uses many of the same concepts but relies heavily on local produce. The new “Nordic Diet” uses rapeseed oil, also known as canola oil, and bilberries, a berry related to blueberries. The diet also includes whole grains, root vegetables, and fish.
To test the effectiveness of this new lifestyle, participants with metabolic syndrome, which is linked to diabetes, adhered to the diet for 18 to 24 weeks, while limiting their sugar, white bread, and red meat intake. These participants were compared to a control group, which did not follow any restrictions concerning their diet.
While researchers did not find a change in the blood pressure or insulin levels for participants at the end of the study, there were significant changes in the good to bad cholesterol ratio, confirming the benefits of the new Nordic regime.
So will this new diet quickly become a fad among Americans hoping to adopt a healthier lifestyle? While there are potential benefits, it is unlikely the “Nordic Diet” will replace the “Mediterranean Diet” because of the emphasis on local products, which may not be readily available in the US. As of now, the Mediterranean Diet continues to hold its place as the trendiest diet.