How to live longer: The Nordic diet could boost longevity – what does it involve?

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The Nordic diet may pave the way for a longer, brighter future. Research proposes countries such as, Scandinavia, Finland, and Iceland hold the key to longevity.

Published in The Lancet Public Health, Professors Mohsen Naghavi, Stein Emil Vollset and Theo Vas made an observation.

“All Nordic countries exceeded the global life expectancy,” they noted in the research paper.

In addition, “disease burden was lower in the Nordic countries than globally”.

What’s the Nordic diet?

Considered a “plant-based” diet, by Men’s Health, the Nordic diet also has an emphasis on fatty fish.

Examples of health-boosting fatty fish include: salmon, mackerel, and herring.

Berries, root vegetables, nuts, low-fat dairy and whole grains are also involved in the Nordic diet.

Root vegetables

  • Carrots
  • Turnips
  • Potatoes
  • Beets
  • Parsnips

Whole grains

Look out for “100 percent whole wheat” on food packaging, such as for pasta.

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A review by the World Health Organisation (WHO) commented that the Nordic diet reduced the risk of cancer, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Limiting the risk of these life-shortening diseases is particularly favourable for long-term health.

Moreover, abiding by the Nordic diet can “support weight loss” confirmed Healthline.

The Nordic diet resembles the Mediterranean diet with one key important difference.

In the Nordic diet, it emphasises the use of canola oil instead of extra virgin olive oil (seen in the Mediterranean diet).

The benefits of following the Nordic diet is numerous. For example, researchers noted it could lower blood pressure.

Scientists based at the University of Waterloo, in Canada, tested the “health effects of the Nordic diet”.

They enrolled 181 “centrally obese men and women”, with an average age of 42 years old.

Participants were randomly assigned to receive the Nordic diet or “an average Danish diet” for 26 weeks.

By the end of the trial, the Nordic diet group had lost 4.7kg in weight (plus or minus 0.5kg).

Meanwhile, those on the standard Danish diet only lost 1.5kg (plus or minus 0.5kg).

As well as aiding weight loss, the Nordic diet group “produced greater reductions in blood pressure”.

To be specific, the Nordic diet reduced systolic blood pressure by an average of 5.1mmHg.

The systolic blood pressure is the first number in the reading; the diastolic blood pressure number follows on.

The diastolic blood pressure reading also reduced (on average) by 3.2mmHg.

Reducing blood pressure is key to living longer, as high blood pressure is strongly associated with heart attacks and strokes.

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