Nordic diet may be good for diabetes, study finds

Adopting a Nordic diet can help lower cholesterol and decrease inflammation associated with pre-diabetes, a new study from Lund University reports.

While a standard Nordic diet usually includes more red meat and white bread, the "healthy" Nordic diet used in the study included fresh produce, like berries and root vegetables, legumes, cabbage, herring and canola oil instead of butter.

Reduced risk for type 2 diabetes

The 24-week study took place in 2009 and 2010 and included 96 participants in the experimental diet group, who ate the healthy Nordic diet, and 70 control subjects, who had no restrictions on sugar, red meat or white bread.

Researchers didn't see changes in insulin sensitivity or blood pressure in people on the Nordic diet, but their bad/good cholesterol ratio significanlty improved, as well as one marker for inflammation. Over time, the reduction in inflammation could bring about a 20 to 40 percent decreased risk for type 2 diabetes, researchers said.

New Nordic cuisine?

While obesity rates in the Nordic region are lower than in the U.S., NPR reports, chefs in the Nordic region are moving toward healthier eating, inspired by the culinary treasures of the area. Foods like reindeer, chick weed and fungi are being explored, and a stronger emphasis on seasonal, local foods is being adopted. The traditional Nordic diet also emphasizes cold-climate vegetables, whole grains, and wild fish and game.

Results of the study can be found in the Journal of Internal Medicine.

Source: NPR

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