A healthy Nordic diet can prevent a range of diseases. Until now, the health benefits that researchers had attributed to a Nordic diet primarily focused on weight loss.
In a new study from the University of Copenhagen, researchers found clear evidence that a Nordic diet can lower blood sugar and cholesterol levels even without weight loss.
Berries, veggies, fish, whole grains and rapeseed oil: These are the main ingredients of the Nordic diet concept that for the past decade, has been recognized as extremely healthy, tasty and sustainable.
The diet can prevent obesity and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
In the study, the team examined blood and urine samples from 200 people over the age of 50, all with elevated BMI and increased risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
The participants were divided into two groups—one provided foods according to Nordic dietary recommendations and a control group on their habitual diet. After six months of monitoring, the result was clear.
The team found the group that had been on the Nordic diet for six months became significantly healthier, with lower cholesterol levels, lower overall levels of both saturated and unsaturated fat in the blood, and better regulation of glucose, compared to the control group.
They kept the group on the Nordic diet weight-stable, meaning that the researchers asked them to eat more if they lost weight. Even without weight loss, there was an improvement in their health.
Instead of weight loss alone, the researchers point to the unique composition of fats in a Nordic diet as a possible explanation for the important health benefits.
These benefits appear to be linked to unsaturated fatty acids from oils in the Nordic diet.
Fats in the Nordic diet come from fish, flaxseeds, sunflower and rapeseed, among other things.
As a whole, they constitute a highly beneficial mix for the body, although the researchers have yet to accurately explain why these fats seem to lower both blood sugar and cholesterol levels.
If you care about blood sugar, please read studies about food that may improve your blood pressure, blood sugar, and findings of the ideal blood sugar levels for preventing repeat strokes, heart attacks.
For more information about blood sugar, please see recent studies about protein snack that can increase morning blood sugar level, and results showing this common spice may improve blood sugar in people with prediabetes.
The study is published in Clinical Nutrition and was conducted by Lars Ove Dragsted et al.
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