What Do People Eat in Iceland?

Last year, Iceland was said to have the world’s healthiest diet

Photo Sasabune Omakase Modified: Flickr/erin/CC 4.0

 Iceland also operates on the Nordic diet.

Like its sister Scandinavian country of Sweden, Iceland also operates on the Nordic diet, which is said to have expansive health benefits: it may regulate cholesterol and reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular disease.

Last year, Iceland was said to have the world’s healthiest diet in a documentary produced by Channel 4 in the UK. In the film, leading nutritionists and dietitians ranked various countries’ diets based on weekly groceries, typical meals, and common snacks. In Iceland, visitors will find foods in their most pure and raw form, due to the country’s geography as well as governmental red tape that helps safeguard the environment.

Icelandic people are lamb lovers, and Icelandic meat is said to be among the least fatty in the world. Come the warmer weather, lambs feed off the plants found in the country’s hillsides and mountains; in addition, lamb is slaughtered at six months instead of 11, making the meat leaner. Aside from lamb, Icelandersalso consume a great amount of fish, including haddock, carpelin, herring, cod, lobsters, clams, shrimp, and Arctic char — similar to salmon and rich in Omega -3’s. Hákarl is also a much-loved dish in Iceland, although both Anthony Bourdain and Andrew Zimmern could barely stomach it. Icelandic people also eat a tremendous amount of fruit and root vegetables, like potatoes and beets. 

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