Posted by: 4pack | March 15, 2009

“Ideal Diet”: Nordic Diet Is Being Touted As Healthy Counterpart To Mediterranean Diet

nordicfoods1Traditional Nordic diets have also been high in fish, as in the Mediterranean, with particular preference for salmon, trout, cod and herring.

Research by Elling Bere from the University of Agder, Norway, has shown that native berries from northern Europe such as blueberries, cowberries and cloudberries contain as much unsaturated omega-3 fatty acids as fish per unit of energy.

Cabbage and other brassica species such a kale and Brussels sprouts, which tend to thrive in cold-weather conditions, have been found by scientists at the University of Oslo to contain some of the highest levels of antioxidants of any vegetable and are a good source of vitamin K, which plays a role in blood coagulation.

 

Scientists at the University of Copenhagen, in Denmark, have set up a EURO 13.3 million (£12.2 million) project aimed at identifying and testing more products from the region that can fit into the “New Nordic Diet”. They also plan to carry out trials with schoolchildren to see how the diet can help improve their health.

Professor Arne Astrup, president of the International Association for the Study of Obesity and head of the department of human nutrition at Copenhagen University, is leading the project.

He said: “The plan is to develop a counterpart to the Mediterranean diet that is superior in terms of health effects and palatability.”

In Finland, around 23 per cent of people are obese; in Sweden, the figure is as low as 10 per cent; but in the UK, the number is around 25 per cent.

The popularity of the Mediterranean diet stems from data showing that people living in countries bordering the Mediterranean have lower levels of cardiovascular disease, obesity and certain types of cancer.

Regional eating habits include consuming large amounts of vegetables, nuts, bread and fish, which make the Mediterranean diet very low in saturated fats, which typically come from meat.

Nutritionists in the UK have, consequently, pushed the vegetable and olive oil-rich diet as a way of combating Britain’s appalling public health record, and in Scotland the Government funded intensive research into the effectiveness of the diet.

But the latest findings from scientists working in northern Europe suggest that foods from Scandinavian countries can provide a more convenient alternative.

Research by Elling Bere from the University of Agder, Norway, has shown that native berries from northern Europe such as blueberries, cowberries and cloudberries contain as much unsaturated omega-3 fatty acids as fish per unit of energy.

He also found that they were rich in antioxidants, which are known to reduce the levels of harmful molecules in cells that can build up over time and cause damage, leading to diseases such as heart disease, stroke and cancer.

Rapeseed oil has been found to be a good alternative to olive oil, containing more omega-3 fatty acids and being a good source of vitamin E.

Cabbage and other brassica species such a kale and Brussels sprouts, which tend to thrive in cold-weather conditions, have been found by scientists at the University of Oslo to contain some of the highest levels of antioxidants of any vegetable and are a good source of vitamin K, which plays a role in blood coagulation.

Traditional Nordic diets have also been high in fish, as in the Mediterranean, with particular preference for salmon, trout, cod and herring.

Prof Astrup also believes that game meat from animals such as elk and reindeer, and birds such as grouse, should also form a greater part of people’s diets as these meats tends to be leaner than farm-reared livestock.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/dietandfitness/4990538/Nordic-diet-as-healthy-as-Mediterranean-foods.html

 

 

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