Nordic diet places 10th in new ranking

Tasty and healthy but impractical, time-consuming

Nordic diet

Photo: Gorm Kallestad / NTB
The Nordic diet is delicious and nutritious, but some think that it is too complicated and expensive.


“The Nordic diet” describes, according to U. S. News & World Report, the diet recommended in the Nordic countries’ national dietary guidelines, an outgrowth of the revolutionary development of the Scandinavian diet in recent years.

On the U.S. News website’s annual ranking for 40 different diets, the Nordic diet fell from ninth to 10th place, with a total score of 3.5 out of 5.

“The Nordic diet calls for a lifestyle that embraces a return to relaxed meals with friends and family, centered on seasonal, locally sourced foods, combined with concern for protecting the environment,” explains the expert panel behind the assessment.

Complicated luxury

What detracts from the Americans’ assessment is that they consider Nordic principles of cooking from scratch, with the least possible additives and pesticides, collection from nature and short trips in environmentally friendly packaging, to be impractical and time-consuming.

Its emphasis on local and organic food makes the diet a “luxury diet,” according to one expert, who adds that it “is only easy to follow for someone who has not only time and money, but an interest or even a passion for cooking.”

The Nordic diet ended up at the bottom of the list in 32nd place for diets recommended for those who want to lose weight fast.

But if you do not want to get thin in no time flat, it is at least indisputably healthy, tasty, and good for the environment. In the sub-rankings for “best plant-based diet” and “best diet for a healthy diet,” the Nordic diet ranks fourth and fifth, respectively.

Best in class

The Mediterranean diet remains at the top of the list of best diets in 2022, with a total score of 4.2 out of 5. Like the Nordic diet, it is based on a high intake of vegetables, fresh ingredients, but benefits from being rich in healthy fat sources, such as olive oil and nuts, and it calls for little red meat and saturated fat from dairy products.

The Mediterranean diet’s low content of sugar and other refined carbohydrates combined with healthy fats means that it is ranked as the best for preventing cardiovascular disease, and for people with diabetes or those who want permanent weight loss. However, several of the experts point out that this diet is not designed to lose weight either, placing 25th on that list.

Fatty diets rank high and low

According to experts, high-fat and protein-rich low-carb diets are the way to go if you want to get rid of extra pounds quickly, but they are not particularly healthy or easy to maintain.

At the top of the list of best diets for rapid weight loss is the Atkins diet, but it ends up in 34th place in the overall rankings.

“Atkins can be a quick solution for people who need to lose weight fast,” the panel acknowledges, “but like other high-fat diets, such as paleo and ketogenic, the Atkins diet falls short nutritionally. There is too much saturated fat, and too few carbohydrates, and too little whole grains, fruits and vegetables.”

This article originally appeared in the Jan. 21, 2022, issue of The Norwegian American.

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NTB (Norsk Telegrambyrå), the Norwegian News Agency, is a press agency and wire service that serves most of the largest Norwegian media outlets. The agency is located in Oslo and has bureaus in Brussels, Belgium, and Tromsø in northern Norway