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Can the Nordic Diet Speed Weight Loss?

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The Nordic diet is a new diet craze claiming extra health benefits. But is this diet really healthier than other diet plans? Find out more below.

Diet trends come and go, and just as it appears that the general public accepts one new diet, another “best” diet comes along that will supposedly prevent weight gain and provide all nutrients needed for a healthy, happy life. In fact, studies find conflicting information all the time.

One study finds a correlation between eggs and high cholesterol. Another study finds that eating cholesterol doesn’t have much effect on the total cholesterol in the body. Some studies stay animal fats will kill you and are as dangerous as smoking. Others say animal protein is essential for a healthy lifestyle.

All of this confusion makes it difficult for the average person to make healthy choices. No matter what a person chooses to eat, someone is going to criticize it. Although the Mediterranean diet has been lauded as one of the healthiest diets to eat, recently, it has been passed over in favor of “tribal” diets from various nations.

One of the most recent diet trends is the Nordic diet. This diet is based on the eating trends of traditional Nordic people. Is the Nordic diet really better than other eating plans? What benefit can it offer that other diets cannot? Find out more about this new diet trend below.

What is the Nordic Diet?

The Nordic diet is based around traditional eating patterns of people who live in Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, and Iceland. The diet was first “created” in 2004 when nutritionists and scientists noticed that in general, Nordic peoples have healthier weights than Americans.

In general, the Nordic diet contains more fiber, more seafood, less sugar, and less fat than a traditional American diet.

The Nordic Diet At a Glance

Foods to eat freely: Vegetables, fruit, whole grains, potatoes, seafood, dairy, seeds, nuts

Foods to eat a few times a week: Eggs, cheese, game meats, yogurt.

Foods to eat rarely: Red meat and animal fats, processed foods, junk food, sugar Foods to avoid: Added sugars, food additives, refined foods, processed meat, sugary drinks (including juice)

The Nordic diet is similar to the Mediterranean diet, but with a greater emphasis on seafood.

What are the Health Benefits of the Nordic Diet?

According to several studies, individuals who eat the Nordic diet show improved health and weight loss (if they were overweight at the start of the study).

Weight Loss

A study from 2014 published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that when obese study participants ate the Nordic diet, they had lower blood pressure and a lower weight by the end of the study. On average, each person lost over 10 pounds, while the control group only lost about 2 pounds.

Another study from 2011 published in the Journal of Internal Medicine found that study participants who at the Nordic diet lost about 4 percent of their body weight over a six-week period. This was true regardless of how many calories the study participants consumed.

In general, studies show that individuals who live in Nordic countries have a lower rate of obesity than individuals in the United States.


The Nordic diet has been shown to have some effect on reducing total body inflammation. This is probably due to the high concentration of seafood, vegetables, and fruit in the diet, which all fight inflammation. Foods like red meat, sugar, and junk food tend to increase inflammation. A study from 2015 published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that individuals on the Nordic diet actually had a reduction of inflammation at the gene level with the suppression of inflammatory gene expression.

Blood Pressure

The Nordic diet is linked to a reduction in blood pressure. A 6-month study from 2014 published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition on the diet found that in obese participants, the Nordic diet could reduce blood pressure by 5.1 and 3.2 mmHg.

Is the Nordic Diet the Best Diet for Weight Loss?

According to the above studies, the Nordic diet can have some benefit on health and weight loss. Exchanging junk food for nutritious foods will always have a positive effect. However, there is not strong evidence that the Nordic diet works better than other healthy eating plans. Only the addition of large quantities of seafood makes this diet any better than any other weight loss diet plan.

If you want to lose weight and keep it off, the Nordic diet can help, but it is similar to other “whole food” diets that exchange junk food for filling, nutrient-dense foods.

What Else Can Speed Weight Loss?

Although the Nordic Diet is beneficial for individuals who are overweight, it is not the only way, or even the best way to lose weight. Typically, a diet rich in natural foods, such as organically-raised meats, vegetables and fruits, and healthy fats will fight obesity and provide the nutrition your body needs to survive. If you have trouble identifying what foods are healthy, then following the Nordic diet can be of benefit.

This diet outlines “safe” and “unsafe” foods that may make weight loss efforts more effective. However, there are also a few other steps you can take to boost your weight loss efforts. These steps include:

  • Reducing stress
  • Exercising
  • Supplementing for missing nutrients

Reducing Stress

Stress causes a hormone spike in the body that encourages inflammation, high blood pressure, and weight gain. A lot of stress can contribute to an expanding waistline. Stress not only makes you more likely to seek junk food or sugary foods, but it can also directly cause your body to cling to fat longer. By relaxing and letting go of stress, you help your body let go of any extra fat. You can try releasing stress by letting go of unnecessary obligations, cutting back at work, spending time to unwind at the end of each day, disconnected from the Internet at night, and exercising regularly.


Exercise not only helps burn extra calories, but it also changes your cell metabolism and encourages the body to get rid of extra fat rather than hang on to it. Exercise improves mental health, burns calories, and improves your mood. About 20 percent of weight loss is related to exercise, but it is essential for maintaining a healthy body while you try to drop pounds. Exercising outdoors in daylight has double benefit because it provides your body with essential vitamin D.

Supplementing for Missing Nutrients

When you reduce calories and try to lose weight, your nutritional intake can suffer. This can lead to weight loss side effects such as hair loss, saggy skin, and a damaged immune system. While in weight loss mode, it is important to ensure you get nutrients that will support your health and speed your weight loss efforts. In addition to basic nutrient vitamins, consider adding the following supplements to your diet:

Green Tea: Numerous studies have found that green tea can improve the function of the metabolism, making weight loss efforts more successful. According to one study, study participants who drank green tea while eating a healthier diet lost about twice as much weight as study participants on a similar diet who did not drink green tea.

Horse Chestnut: Horse chestnut may not influence weight loss directly, but it helps to fight inflammation in the body. Most Americans have chronic inflammation from unhealthy foods and constant stress. Taking horse chestnut can help eliminate some of the excess inflammation, with positive results such as reduced cholesterol levels and lower blood pressure.

Caffeine: Caffeine has some influence on body weight, but it isn’t a miracle substance. Caffeine slightly boosts the metabolism and also suppresses the appetite. These two strategies combined can help fuel weight loss efforts. However, caffeine has the biggest effect when consumed without additives (no sugar, cream, or flavorings) or in supplement form.

Gum Guggul: Gum guggul fights inflammation in a method similar to horse chestnut. Studies have linked the consumption of this herb with reduced cholesterol levels and reduced inflammation.

Garcinia Cambogia: Garcinia cambogia contains hydroxycitric acid, which is an ingredient linked with a reduction in fat-producing enzymes. In animal studies, animals that ate garcinia cambogia had significantly lower body weights than rats that did not eat the fruit. Other studies suggest that garcinia cambogia can also reduce cravings for food and may even inhibit the body’s ability to create fat from carbohydrates.

L-Tyrosine: A sluggish thyroid has been linked with low l-tyrosine levels. It is possible that supplementing with l-tyrosine will improve the metabolism and increase the effectiveness of the thyroid, aiding in weight loss.

The Nordic Diet: One of Many Healthy Diets

The Nordic diet is similar to many other healthy diets. It focuses on healthy foods and avoids unhealthy foods like sugar, unhealthy fats, and other junk foods. However, there is nothing particularly significant about the Nordic diet specifically, other than it encourages the consumption of seafood which is high in omega-3 fats. Omega-3 fats are essential for the health of the body and most Americans are too low in omega-3 fats for optimal health. Omega-3 fats fight inflammation and boost other systems in the body to encourage overall health and effective weight loss.

If you prefer to have strict dietary guidelines to keep you on track for healthy eating while trying to lose weight, the Nordic diet could be a good solution. Otherwise, it offers similar benefits to other whole-food based diets. Adding a few extra supplements, exercising, and reducing stress will speed the weight loss effects of any healthy diet.





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