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C O U R S E 
The New Nordic Diet
Charlotte Mitril, University of Copenhagen
C O U R S E   L E C T U R E 
The Components of the New Nordic Diet
Notes taken on April 18, 2014 by Edward Tanguay
why there is a need for a Nordic Diet
many diseases today are diet related
concern for the environment and the planet's health calls for an update for the food culture in many countries
goals are to improve:
gastronomic potential
Nordic identity
1. more calories from plant foods and fewer from meat
over the past 50 years, consumption of meat has almost doubled
meat is less environmentally friendly than plants to produce
more herbs, nuts, potatoes, grains, fruits, vegetables
2. more foods from the sea and lakes
a large portion of the Nordic fishing catch is currently exported
Nordic countries have a vast amount of seaweed, a source of nutrition largely overlooked in the Western world
safety issues: some species of seaweed have a high amount of iodine
freshwater and sea foods has increases the variety in meals
can serve as a high protein diet replacing a large amount of meat
3. more foods from the wild countryside
Scandinavia has high access to these foods
collected by individual for free
plants, mushrooms, berries
potential systematic gathering and distribution
foods from the wild countryside differ from country to country and can be part of the identity of regional cuisine
dietary components
1. fruits and vegetables
average intake is 400 grams per day
recommended is 600 grams per day
reduces change of cardiovascular disease, obesity, certain cancers
Nordic ingredients
root vegetables
fresh herbs
dill, parsley, chives
2. potatoes
consumption of potatoes has fallen in Nordic countries to rise and pasta
dietary fiber
one of the foods with the least negative environmental impact
3. plants and mushrooms from the wild countryside
at present the Danish population eats practically no plants and mushrooms from the wild countryside
New Nordic Diet: 5g/day of wild plants
some are toxic so concern should be taken
4. whole grain
significant inverse association between intake of whole grain and risk of:
cardiovascular disease
type 2 diabetes
weight gain and obesity
Danish population currently intakes less than half of recommended levels
5. nuts
associated with reduction of cardiovascular disease
have a lot of flavor and can be used as an alternative to sweets
they make salads, cereals and bread more appetizing
recommended: 30g/day
currently Danish population intakes only 1g/day
6. fish and shellfish
fatty fish have a high amount of n-3 fatty acids
shown to improve child brain development
helpl prevent cardiovascular disease in adults
high content of vitamins and minerals
vitamin D
7. seaweed
an overlooked source of nutrition in the Western world
the intake in the Danish population is close to zero
although it was historically part of the poor man's diet all along the Nordic coastline
high content of:
dietary fiber
fatty acids
the composition of seaweed varies greatly from species to species
there is a risk in some species of a relatively high amount of iodine
the majority of seaweed in the Nordic region is edible and non-toxic
recommendation is set at 5g per day because of the high iodine content
8. meat
free range livestock and game
meat among the least environmentally friendly foods
the goal of the New Nordic Diet is to decrease the intake of meat and replace it with more environmentally-friendly protein sources such as
fish, shellfish, legumes, nuts
focuses on meat from free range animals for sustainability and potentially also for health
studies show that meat from animals that graze hae a healthier acid composition with less saturated fat and more polyunsaturated than animals raised indoors without access to grass