Move Over Mediterranean Diet, Hello Nordic Diet!

Most people are familiar with the fundamental principles of healthy eating: more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein and less processed junk. The trick is identifying the right combination of foods that are not only healthy but also enjoyable to eat and easy to find! Nutrition experts have recommended the Mediterranean diet for years, but there’s a new diet that offers similar benefits and fresh new options: the Nordic diet.

Dieticians are buzzing about the Nordic diet, a plant-based diet composed of root vegetables, fruit, whole grains, and fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, and herring. It’s based on the traditional lifestyle of people from Scandinavia (Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Finland) and Iceland. It’s based on root vegetables like potatoes and carrots, legumes, nuts, whole grains, and fresh berries. Rounding out the food pyramid are low-fat dairy options and fish (salmon, mackerel, and herring) rich in healthy fats. Following the diet also requires cutting out processed junk like chips and candy and high-fat meat like bacon and sausages. (Ouch, that’s going to hurt.)

It’s very similar to the Mediterranean diet—rich in plant-based food and lean proteins. The difference is in the details—and the weather! The Nordic diet swaps out olive oil for rapeseed oil (canola oil) and offers a new variety of fruits and vegetables, and swaps out sun and sand for alpine sports. A review by the World Health Organization found that both diets reduce the risk of cancer, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. They can also help with weight loss but only if you really cut back on the meat and processed foods—the common culprit behind overeating and packing on the pounds. Even better, a plant-based diet is good for the whole planet. Cutting back on meat reduces your carbon footprint.

The Nordic lifestyle is high in fiber, protein, and healthy fats. Give it a whirl if you’re looking for a new diet this summer.