Nordic Notions: An Alternative to the Mediterranean Diet?Heather Neal
The Mediterranean Diet is highly touted for it’s health improving properties, especially when it comes to reducing the risk of heart disease. Comprised mainly of healthy fats like olive oil and nuts, minimal dairy and red meat intake, and lots of veggies and whole grains, the Mediterranean Diet is often a great choice for people because it’s not limiting. Heck, it even encourages you to drink red wine (in moderation). But what about people that don’t have access to things like olive oil?
A group in Sweden set out to determine whether similar healthy effects could be brought about by a slightly different version of the diet. The researchers took a typical Nordic diet and revamped it slightly to more closely mimic that of the Mediterranean. Instead of olive oil, they used canola oil, and encouraged fatty fish intake like salmon and mackerel. They also included staples widely available in the Nordic region, like bilberries, currants, and herring.
After following the diet for 18 to 24 weeks, researchers measured a decrease in inflammatory markers and an improved lipid panel in the test subjects. While they didn’t see a decrease in metabolic syndrome or diabetes, which are problems in the Nordic area, researchers say a decrease in inflammation could help reduce the occurrence of diabetes.