Nordic diet

IN 2009, Danish researchers created the New Nordic Diet (NND) to improve the health, wellbeing, and development of Danish children. European nutrition experts created the NND to foster greater consumption of plants and food found in seas, lakes, and the wild and to encourage reduced consumption of meat.

“The diet consists of fruits and vegetables (especially berries, root vegetables, cabbage, and legumes), potatoes, herbs, plants, mushrooms, nuts, whole grains, meats, fish, shellfish, and seaweed,” says Thomas Larsen, Ph.D., associate professor in the department of nutrition in obesity research at the University of Copenhagen.

“The NND recipes were selected because their ingredients can be produced in the Nordic region with minimal impact on the environment,” he adds. A recent American Society for
Nutrition study of 147 overweight Danes found that those who followed the NND for 26 weeks lost approximately 10 pounds compared with participants who followed a traditional Danish diet, who typically lost only three pounds. NND dieters also reduced their blood
pressure to a greater extent than those dieters who followed the average Danish diet.

The macronutrient profile for the new diet is “roughly 18% protein, 30% fat, and 52% carbohydrates,” says Larsen. “There’s no specific calorie restriction. It should be as satisfying and satiating as possible, indirectly leading to lower caloric intake.”

To join the Nordic cause, eat locally grown produce and whole grains instead of processed meats and sugary foods. The flavorful veggie-meatball recipe above was one of the first NND offerings. Cook it up and dine the Nordic way.



1 cup finely grated carrots1 cup finely grated potatoes
1 cup finely grated potatoes1 cup finely grated zucchini
1 cup finely grated zucchini1 green onion, finely chopped
1 green onion, finely chopped½ bunch flat-leaf parsley, chopped
½ bunch flat-leaf parsley, chopped1 tsp ground fennel seeds
1 tsp ground fennel seeds1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground cumin½ cup wheat flour
½ cup wheat flour½ cup milk
½ cup milk2 eggs, beaten
2 eggs, beaten½ cup oatmeal Salt and pepper, to taste
½ cup oatmeal Salt and pepper, to taste
1 tbsp rapeseed oil

1. Preheat oven to 300°F.
2. In a large bowl, mix thoroughly all ingredients except oil.
3. Heat oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Fry a small sample of meatball mixture to test. If the mixture is too wet and does not stick together, add a little more oatmeal.
4. Form mixture into meatballs and fry them until golden brown. Transfer to a shallow baking dish and bake for 15 minutes.