New Nordic Diet/Cuisine

Have you heard about the New Nordic Diet (NND)?   It’s catching on so fast that the Danish government now promotes the diet on their official website, together with recipes designed by one of the world’s favourite restaurants, NOMA, among others.

The Danes have concluded that dietary guidelines which are going to make a difference to public health must be sensitive to the local food culture.  Even though good diets like the Mediterranean have proved to be effective across cultures, not everyone finds them easy to integrate into the social context and so compliance is not always good.  The NND illustrates how embracing local eating patterns and regional traditions may be the most logical and effective way to promote healthy eating.

So while the NND is promoted mainly for its broad health benefits as well as culinary enjoyment, it’s also turning out to be a successful weight loss diet.  Initial trials were conducted with people with prediabetes.  Other benefits include of the NND include improved cholesterol ratios, lower blood pressure and particularly lower inflammation markers.The diet focuses on quality and whole foods.  Blueberries and fatty fish like mackerel, salmon and herring are regularly on the menu.  Whole grains and vegetables figure prominently and sugar is avoided.   Canola (rapeseed) oil is promoted on the NND, although it is a newcomer to regional production.  Long term effects are unknown, but the usual warnings should apply about the health risks of highly refined oils.  Always go for quality, freshness and keep refrigerated.

Meanwhile the contribution of NOMA to the project has greatly broadened the potential micronutrient content of the diet with the inclusion of locally grown foods including seaweed, mushrooms, beech leaves, birch juice and chickweed, most of which can be foraged locally.  Foraging also offers a huge increase in beneficial gut flora, linked to improved immunity and weight loss.  If you can’t replicate these foods in your area, look into what does grow locally and what you can grow yourself in terms of culinary herbs.  Wild greens and herbs in general pack a huge nutritional punch.  It goes without saying that foragers need to get themselves educated about safety issues.

However there’s no reason why the concept of healthy, tasty, seasonal and sustainable regional food can’t be applied to most places in the world. Like many aspects of the paleo movement, this return to basics can be very satisfying and a lot of fun.  It’s certainly worth aiming for, and every small effort counts.

The model developed by NOMA could serve as a guide, This the Manifesto of the New Nordic Cuisine Movement put together by NOMA owner, Claus Meyer:

“As Nordic chefs we find that the time has now come for us to create a New Nordic Kitchen, which in virtue of its good taste and special character compares favourable with the standard of the greatest kitchens of the world.

The aims of New Nordic Cuisine are:

1. To express the purity, freshness, simplicity and ethics we wish to associate with our region.

 2. To reflect the changing of the seasons in the meals we make.

 3. To base our cooking on ingredients and produce whose characteristics are particularly excellent in our climates, landscapes and waters.

 4. To combine the demand for good taste with modern knowledge of health and well-being.

5. To promote Nordic products and the variety of Nordic producers – and to spread the word about their underlying cultures.

 6. To promote animal welfare and a sound production process in our seas, on our farmland and in the wild.

 7. To develop potentially new applications of traditional Nordic food products.

 8. To combine the best in Nordic cookery and culinary traditions with impulses from abroad.

9. To combine local self-sufficiency with regional sharing of high-quality products.

 10. To join forces with consumer representatives, other cooking craftsmen, agriculture, the fishing, food , retail and wholesale industries, researchers, teachers, politicians and authorities on this project for the benefit and advantage of everyone in the Nordic countries.”

Take a look at some New Nordic Recipe here:

More scientific evidence here:







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