The Nordic Diet: One of the Healthiest Diets in the World
Food Tourism

The Nordic Diet:
One of the Healthiest Diets in the World

In 2004, Claus Meyer, along with some of the most esteemed chefs in the Nordic region, created the ‘New Nordic Kitchen Manifesto.’ By 2005 the Nordic Council of Ministers adopted the manifesto as the ideology of their New Nordic Food programme.  You may be wondering, what is the Nordic Kitchen Manifesto? Keep reading for everything you need to know about the nordic diet and how it’s one of the healthiest diets in the world. 

What is the Nordic Diet? 

The new Nordic diet is based on the vegetables, fruits, grains, and lean meats that are found in Scandinavia. Driven by virtue of good taste and focusing on both health benefits and the ethical production of food, the Nordic diet is catching on quickly. 

The manifesto itself is a guiding light and consists of 10 ‘commandments’ of a more healthy and sustainable diet. The aim of the nordic diet is to…

  • Express the freshness, purity, simplicity and ethics associated with the region.  
  • Reflect the changes of the seasons in meals.  
  • Use produce and ingredients whose characteristics is local to your landscapes, climates, and waters.  
  • Combining good taste with modern knowledge of health and well-being. 
  • Spreading the word about Nordic culture.  
  • Promote animal welfare and sound production practices on farms, in seas, and in the wild.  
  • The development of new applications of traditional Nordic food products. 
  • Combining the best in Nordic cookery and culinary traditions with cultures abroad.  
  • Combining local self-sufficiency with regional sharing of high-quality products. 
  • Joining forces with consumer representatives, agriculture, fishing, chefs, food retail, wholesale industries and researchers for the benefit and advantage of everyone in the Nordic countries and beyond.

Where can you experience the Nordic Diet?

The Nordic Diet is based on traditional ways of eating in the Nordic countries which include Denmark, Greenland, Finland, Norway, Sweden, and Iceland. 

If you’re looking for some restaurants that have truly nailed the new Nordic diet, here are a few examples. 

Maaemo – Oslo, Norway

Designed as a journey around Norway’s topography, the menu takes this sustainable diet to a new level. With some of the world’s finest seafood, as well as mushrooms from the country’s delta in the south, you are sure to love the Nordic diet cuisine at Maaemo.

Geranium – Copenhagen, Denmark

This major local seafood restaurant offers an 18-course menu that combines technique and stylised plating all while paying respects to phenomenal local ingredients. It offers a next level view of how the new Nordic diet is imagined. 

What To Eat On The New Nordic Diet

Touted as one of the healthiest diets in the world, the Nordic diet encourages consuming a variety of fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains. The diet also includes seafood, canola oil and low-fat dairy products, such as skyr. You should limit red meat and processed meats, butter and sweets. 

Foods emphasized on the Nordic Diet include: 

  • Vegetables: leafy vegetables, cucumbers, cabbages, potatoes, roots and legumes
  • Fruits: apples, berries,  and pears
  • Whole grains: oats, barley and rye
  • Dairy: low-fat and fat-free dairy products, such as skyr
  • Seafood: salmon and freshwater fish
  • Fats: canola (rapeseed) oil and soft margarine

Ways To Include The Nordic Diet Into Your Daily Life

Even if you cannot visit one of the Nordic countries where this diet is thriving, you can still incorporate the diet into your daily life by doing the following. 

  • Shop at your local Farmer’s Market. The longer an item spends traveling to its destination, the more nutrients are potentially lost. 
  • Choose sustainable seafood options – a good rule of thumb is if a whole fish is small enough to fit on your dinner plate, it’s probably sustainable. 
  • Take advantage of harvest time and plan for the off season by canning and preserving your fruits. 
  • Reduce your consumption of red meats and avoid processed meats altogether. 

If you want to fully experience the Nordic diet the best way to do so is by traveling to Denmark, Greenland, Finland, Norway, Sweden, or  Iceland. It’s easy to incorporate the values of the new Nordic diet into your daily life. This will help you to both live more sustainably, and consume foods that are part of the healthiest diet in the world. This sustainable diet,and the movement that has followed, is widely considered the strongest and most important culinary revolution ever in the Nordic region.

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