Could A Nordic Diet Work For Weight Loss?

The benefits of a Mediterranean diet are well known, but could a Scandinavian way of eating be the answer for weight loss for you?


The “Nordic diet” is based on the traditional ways of eating in Denmark, Finland, Norway, Iceland, Sweden, and Greenland.

Like the more famous Mediterranean diet, it’s a delicious way to eat healthily, which helps with weight loss.

So, what foods does it include?

What Can You Eat?

There are several similarities with the Mediterranean diet, but this style of eating is based on these guidelines which also include lifestyle choices:

– More fruit, vegetables, and seasonal and organic foods when possible
– More whole grains
– More food from seas, lakes, and the wild
– Higher-quality meat and less of it
– Less processed, less sugary foods
– Cooking at home more
– Wasting less food, and natural resources

Whole grains

Think whole-grain crackers or dark, dense sourdough rye bread, or you can also choose any other high-quality “complex” carbohydrates that are rich in fibre.

They take longer to digest than the “simple” carbs found in many processed foods like white bread, pastries, and biscuits. They also have lots of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that help protect your cells.


These are a big part of the Nordic way of eating. That’s a good thing because when you eat lots of them, you’re less likely to gain weight.

They’re also a good source of antioxidants called anthocyanins, which seem to keep your veins and arteries healthy and flexible, and may help lower your blood pressure.

I can vouch for this as I am a big Nordic fan for the scenery, but enjoy their great tasting lingonberries and cloudberries whenever I can get them.

Oily fish

These have certain omega-3 fatty acids that your body can’t make. They could lower your chance of having heart rhythm problems, lessen plaque buildup in your arteries, and cut down on fat in your blood (triglycerides).

You might know about salmon, sardines, and tuna but Nordic cultures like herring and mackerel too. These certainly used to be a staple of the UK diet and although less popular now, certainly worth, including again.

Best if you can have two to three servings a week of oily fish for your health.

Beans and peas

The Nordic diet recommends them as one of the major sources of complex carbohydrates and fibre in your daily diet, along with whole grains, berries, and vegetables.

They’re a great source of protein, especially to replace some of the calories you get from red meat. And they have lots of nutrients like riboflavin, B6, calcium, zinc, and iron.

Root vegetables & tubers

Carrots, parsnips, beetroot, and potatoes are typical of this category of food. Though they can be high in calories, they also give you fibre, which takes longer to digest and keeps your blood sugar more stable.

And they’re loaded with nutrients that help protect your cells, lower your cholesterol, and help fight infection.

Nuts & seeds

They’re a source of complex carbohydrates and fibre, as are whole grains, berries, and vegetables.

They’re rich in zinc, copper, potassium, vitamin E, niacin, antioxidants, and mono- and poly-unsaturated fats.

Also they are a great addition to your diet as a form of protein if you are cutting down your animal protein intake or reducing the amount of red meat that you eat.

They can be high in calories, so a handful is usually sufficient.


This way of eating may help lower “bad” (LDL) cholesterol in people who start out with higher than normal LDL levels. And it may work even for people who don’t lose weight on the diet.

You should get a cholesterol blood test every 4 to 6 years — more often if you have heart health problems.


When people shift to this way of eating, they tend to lose weight, especially the fat you carry around your waist.

That’s better for you than losing it from elsewhere on your body, and if you follow this plan it may help you keep those pounds off.

Heart disease

Unhealthy cholesterol, blood pressure, glucose, and insulin levels are all risk factors for heart disease – that is, they make you more likely to get it.

Because the Nordic diet seems to improve these issues in many people, scientists think this way of eating might help support heart health, too.

Type 2 diabetes

As with heart disease, this approach helps ease some of the issues linked to type 2 diabetes, like inflammation and obesity.

That’s why many doctors believe it probably helps prevent the disease over the long term.


This means the swelling of tissues all over your body, and it’s linked to diseases like diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure that can lessen the quality and length of your life.

Other inflammatiory conditions include allergies, asthma, autoimmune diseases, coeliac disease, inflammatory bowel disease, lupus and rheumatoid arthritis.

A healthy Nordic-style diet seems to be a good way to keep inflammation at bay, and certainly worth considering if you have – or are at risk from – any of these conditions.

Lifestyle and the environment

Of course, diet is not the only cause for weight gain, there are hormonal factors such as oestrogen dominance and lifestyle choices around exercise and healthy living including getting good sleep.

One of the main goals of the Nordic diet is to be environmentally friendly so while it’s good for your health to eat a diet that’s more plant-based than animal-based, it’s also good for the planet.

That’s because plant-based foods are less taxing on the land, the climate, and the atmosphere. So you can make yourself healthy and do something for the Earth while you’re at it.

Helpful information:

This may not seem as difficult to achieve as you may think as the simple steps of healthy diet choices, regular exercise and tackling stress or sleep issues will make a big difference.

If your stress or sleep issues are related to oestrogen dominance and hormonal factors then check whether you need to look at rebalancing your hormone levels to increase the benefits of bioidentical hormones to help with menopause symptoms such as bloating and weight gain..

Not sure which hormones you may need supplementing? This article can help.