Eat food, not too much, know your LDL-P
Eat like the Vikings!
Or at the very least, eat like the highly educated, very healthy and happy populations of Iceland, Sweden, Finland, Norway and Denmark.
What does the Nordic way of eating look like?
Small amounts of wild game, like Elk, over beef and chicken. Nordic dieters may run the risk of an increased risk for heart disease when eating a diet that is too high in saturated fats, so they turn to the ocean for their protein. With so many coastal cities, Nordic menus focus on oily, omega-3 rich fish.
The rest of the plate is filled out with in-season fruits, nuts and seeds and lots of leafy green vegetables. It’s a good thing Nordic genotypes do such a good job of clearing carbohydrates because many of their meals include heavier plant foods like oats and potatoes.
However, despite the robust ability of Nordics to handle dietary carbohydrates, there is one rule that stands out from the typical Nordic diet – dairy. In our matrix, Nordic dieters are likely to be lactose intolerant, so no matter how tempting, not even Icelandic yogurt is a good move for the Vikings walking among us.
What is the scientific basis for this diet? The macronutrient ratios for the Nordic diet, at 25% fats, 55% carbohydrates, and 20% protein, a lot of which comes from plant sources, fit squarely within the ranges offered by the most current United States Dietary Guidelines.
For more on the science of nutrigenomics, see our science page or our Guide to Nutrigenomics.
Most closely related diet: Forager
Primary difference with Forager: This is the tale of two different approaches to carbs. The Nordic dieter can handle a large range of carbs whereas Foragers should stick with a low glycemic, largely grain free diet.
Biggest challenge: Balancing plant and animal sources of protein. Nordic diets can include some animal sources of saturated fat, but their fat scores put them in the group that should carefully watch their blood work to make sure they don’t see an uptick in LDL-P, an important metric for heart disease risk. Nordic dieters shouldn’t shy away from a few vegetarian days built into their weeks.
Red meat friendly? Nordics can handle the occasional piece of wild game or grass fed beef, but shouldn’t make either food a staple.
Keto friendly: No, Nordics likely don’t have the fat metabolism genes to pull off a Ketogenic diet.
Carnivore diet friendly? No.
Does this diet type handle fermented foods? The Nordic diet can include all sorts of fermented foods, with fermented dairy products the one notable exception
What about pancakes and refined grains: The first place we look is the celiac genes, but absent the presence of those markers, Nordic diet types can handle carbs and thrive on a diet that includes oats, potatoes and high quality breads.
Go to breakfast: Overnight oats with nut butter, chia seeds, blueberry and banana.