If you are like me, you have heard something about the regional diets from the Mediterranean area of Southern Europe and the Middle East and the meat-and-potatoes Nordic diet common in Norway, Sweden, and Finland. These diets seem so different, so which one is better for you?
Here is some information to help you compare so that you can choose the healthier diet option for you:
The arid Mediterranean region is known for its plentiful fruits, legumes, cereals, fish, olive oil, dairy, and wine. Most of these foods grow well in the heat of the area. When it comes to proteins, this diet features fish more heavily than red meat. In many ways, it’s different from the Nordic diet.
The Nordic way of eating is known for fattier foods, such as higher amounts of dairy and margarine and more red meat than fresh fruits and vegetables, except for potatoes and other root vegetables that grow better in the cold weather and keep during a long winter. Bread is a staple in the Nordic countries, especially rye bread, and it has its place in every meal from breakfast to dinner and can also make up a Nordic snack. Various other dishes such as pickled or even fermented fish and whale meat can be found in the diet. Baked desserts are also popular, meaning higher sugar intake
The Nordic diet, as you can see, packs a higher fat, starch, and sugar content and can lead to conditions like heart disease and diabetes. The Mediterranean diet offers lower amounts of these substances, as long as olive oil and fish are consumed sparingly. Fresh fruits and vegetables contribute vitamins and minerals which are healthier than simple sugars and starches.
For these reasons, the Mediterranean diet is the superior choice for health. The heartier, more nutritious foods will lift your mood and improve your overall health. In its most basic form, it’s the one I recommend.
If you really want to try the Nordic diet, I recommend focusing more on fresh berries, grains, and fish and less on processed bread, red meats, and dairy. This enhanced version of the Nordic diet may offer more benefits than the basic, traditional way.