SOS Tips: The Nordic diet

October 21, 2009

This phenomenon started in 2003 with the Danish gastronomic entrepreneur, Claus Meyer. Television star and cookbook author, he is in some ways, the spiritual godfather of the Nordic cuisine movement.

After decades of only having French or Italian restaurants in Copenhagen, he decided to give traditional Scandinavian cuisine the place of honour in his own restaurant. Named NOMA (the initials of “Nordic food” in Danish), his restaurant was opened in 2003 and was given a 2 star rating by Michelin.

In 2004, along with other well-known chefs and producers of the Scandinavian agri-food industry, Claus Meyer (in the photo on the right) published a manifesto about Nordic cuisine.

This movement is primarily aimed at showcasing local products, grown in the soil of the northern part of the world. It is all about fresh ingredients and the rediscovery of traditions and flavours specific to the North. At the same time, it’s also about promoting simplicity in cooking, just like in every day life.

A chef’s inspiration

Many chefs, who were inspired by Claus Meyer have, in turn, set up restaurants in Stockholm, Oslo, Helsinki and in other Scandinavian cities. They have all taken this mission to heart. This has elicited an enthusiastic response from their clients and recognition from food critics. To a point where around 10 new Michelin stars have been awarded solely within the Scandinavian countries.

Consequently, the Nordic diet movement has developed at such speed, that today it is exploding onto the international scene. Other Nordic countries, including Great Britain, have shown interest in reviving formerly neglected ingredients such as barley, oats and root vegetables.

The Science

The scientific community is also interested in this movement. Professor Arne Astrup, President of the International Association for the Study of Obesity and director at the Department of Nutrition at Copenhagen University, is at the head of a 13 million Euros project (around 21 million dollars) that aims at identifying the way in which the Nordic diet can help improve the health of our population.

In practice, the aim is to develop an alternative to Mediterranean food, better adapted to northern conditions.

Mediterranean vs. Nordic Diet

Mediterranean diet

Olive oil:
Rich in monounsaturated fats and Omega-3.
Olive oil
Rich in antioxidants and Vitamins C and A.
Rich in antioxidants, especially lycopene.
Fish and seafood:
Rich in protein. Low in fat.
Rich in fibre and vitamins.
Not much red meat or poultry:
Low in saturated fat.
chicken drumsticks


Nordic diet

nordic diet huile canola Canola oil :
Rich in monounsaturated fats. Contains more
Omega-3 than olive oil.
chou Cabbages:
Rich in Vitamin K and antioxidants.
baies Blueberries and other berries:
Rich in antioxidants, especially flavonoids.
nordic diet poisson Fish:
Rich in protein. Fatty fish
(salmon and herring) rich in Omega-3.
nordic diet orge Barley, oat, rye:
Rich en fiber and vitamins.
nordic diet gibier Game (elk, hare, game birds):
Wild meats are leaner than those of breeding.

As Canada shares a northern climate with the Scandinavian countries, we could benefit from these discoveries, or even follow suit.

Examples of Nordic style meals

Barley and Lentil Soup

nordic diet barley lentil soup

See the recipe >>

Harvest Pot-au-feu

nordic diet harvest pot-au-feu

See the recipe >>

Cheese-Topped Carrots and Parsnips

nordic diet cheese topped carrots parsnips

See the recipe >>

Cream Cheese Mousse with Berries

nordic diet cream cheese mousse berries

See the recipe >>


Cinzia Cuneo
Cinzia Cuneo, founder of, never wanted to neglect the quality of her food. She shares her special expertise to make good food quickly and without complications!

This website uses cookies to give the best user experience, monitor the site performance, offer social networks features, or display advertisements. By clicking "ACCEPT", you consent to the use of cookies in accordance to our privacy policy.

Our weekly newsletter includes:

  • Recipes, tips and advice on healthy eating
  • Occasional promotions on products & services from SOSCuisine and some trusted partners
  • Occasional invitations to help scientific research by answering surveys or participating in studies
  • Your email address will never be shared without your permission and you may unsubscribe at any time.
SOSCuisine, 3470 Stanley, Suite 1605, Montreal, QC, H3A 1R9, Canada.