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Healthy Competition

Tuesday, April 14th, 2009 Healthy Competition

Spring is in the air, so why not look at new ways to spring into step and get healthy.

Inexcess are going to look at the merits of the Nordic diet v the Mediterranean diet, let’s see how they compare as updated in the Telegraph (14 03 09)

Much has been said with regards to the healthy Mediterranean diet, however the UK is more suited to producing the kind of foods that are produced in Scandinavia because of climate and location.

Furthermore nutritional experts from the UK are excited as scientists at the University of Copenhagen, in Denmark, have set up a EURO 13.3 million (£12.2 million) project aimed at identifying and testing more products from the region that can fit into the “New Nordic Diet”. They also plan to carry out trials with schoolchildren to see how the diet can help improve their health.

President of the International Association for the Study of Obesity and head of the department of human nutrition at Copenhagen University, Professor Arne Astrup, is leading the project.

He says, “The plan is to develop a counterpart to the Mediterranean diet that is superior in terms of health effects and palatability.”

In Finland, around 23 per cent of people are obese; in Sweden, the figure is as low as 10 per cent; but in the UK, the number is around 25 per cent.

Essentially the Mediterranean diet has been hugely popular due to factors such as the lower cardiovascular disease, obesity and certain types of cancer.

The large consumption of vegetables, nuts, bread and fish, which make the Mediterranean diet very low in saturated fats, which typically come from meat.

Thus, in the UK nutritionists have pushed the vegetable and olive oil-rich diet as a way of combating Britain’s appalling public health record.

However the latest findings from scientists working in northern Europe suggest that foods from Scandinavian countries can provide a more convenient alternative.

Listed below are two very sound options, try both at your leisure.

Firstly, the Nordic Diet:

Cold pressed rapeseed oil is high in monounsaturated fats and contains more omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids

Cabbage contains high levels of antioxidants and strongly associated with reducing cancer risk. Also high in vitamin K and omega-3 fatty acids

Cloudberries, cowberries and blueberries are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin C, B vitamins and contain high levels of antioxidants. Also contain plentiful nutrients including potassium, calcium, magnesium and phosphorus.

Herring, salmon and cod, oily fish like herring and salmon contain high levels of omega-3 fatty acids. Cod is low in fat but high in protein.

Barley, Oats and Rye contains more antioxidants than wheat.

Wild game such as elk, hare and game birds, provides protein with lower levels of fat than found in livestock.’

The Mediterranean diet:

‘Olive oil are high in monounsaturated fat and omega-3 fatty acids.

Red Peppers are rich in vitamin C.

Tomatoes contain compounds associated with reducing the risk of cancers such as prostate and oral cancer. High in vitamin C, vitamin A and potassium.

Monkfish and prawns are high in protein and low in fat.

Wheat (generally eaten in bread), provides additional dietary fibre and vitamin C.

Low levels of red meat and poultry keeps intake of unhealthy saturated fats low.

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