The New Thing: Eating Like a Viking

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It may sound silly to say that eating like a viking—considering our visions of one—will make you lose weight. But if recent reports from the health and fitness industries are to be believed, eating the way of these seafarers may just help us stay healthy and fit.

In 2004, a group of chefs, led by René Redzepi and Claus Meyer of Copenhagen restaurant Noma, discussed Denmark’s problem: a growing dependence on unhealthy, processed food. Vowing to adhere to food that “expresses the purity, freshness, simplicity, and ethics we wish to associate with our region,” the group created the New Nordic diet. A year after the “chefs’ convention,” The Nordic Council of Ministers approved the diet and gave guidelines.

Inside Noma. Photo via
Inside Noma. Photo via
A sample dish from Noma, Oyster and the Sea. Photo via
A sample dish from Noma, Oyster and the Sea. Photo via

So from a “caveman” diet (Paleo), we are now enjoined to try this new diet craze (especially after this testimonial from a Vogue writer). But how does this diet work exactly?

Simply put, the Nordic/Viking diet urges us to go back to basics. (Don’t all successful diets?) Home-cooked meals are encouraged, so is foraging and a return to eating more local, organic produce and root vegetables.

There are a lot of good reads on the diet (like this, this and, if you want a more thorough explanation, try this), but if you want a quick overview of the diet, here’s what you need to know:

• Use oils low in saturated fat. Instead of (the other famous regional diet) Mediterranean diet’s olive oil, use canola (or rapeseed) oil
• Eat more fish and plants and less red meat.
• The diet is not very restrictive, but as with anything, everything in moderation. In a week, you should have three meals of meat, two seafood meals, and two vegetarian meals.
• Carbs—the good kind—are allowed, like whole grains (rye, oats, barley, spelt). Bad news? White bread and pasta are not favored by the Vikings.
• For snacking, berries, nuts, and fruits are highly recommended. Also encouraged are seasonal foods.
• Eat your greens—a lot of them: root vegetables, leafy greens, legumes.
• The no-nos? Refined grains, processed foods, and sugar
• Alcohol (a glass of red or two) is okay.

Sounds like a sensible diet—the kind that would actually work.

What do you think of the Nordic Diet? Sound off in the Comments!

Main Image via