Health Fusion: The Nordic Diet Can Boost Health Even If You’re Not Losing Weight – Duluth News Tribune
ROCHESTER – If you’re trying to shed a few pounds, there are a variety of diets you can try. Some are geared towards quick weight loss so you can fit into your bathing suit for spring break — which may not be the healthiest option. Others are designed to help you lose weight more slowly and improve your health over the long term.
A new study shows that the Nordic diet can boost health by lowering cholesterol and blood sugar, even if you’re not losing weight.
What is the Nordic Diet? It is a food concept that includes berries, vegetables, fish, whole grains, and canola oil (canola oil is an example of canola oil). Diet can help prevent obesity and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
Most research has focused on positive health effects of diet after weight loss. But the new analysis by researchers at the University of Copenhagen and others shows that weight loss may not be the only factor contributing to health benefits.
“It’s surprising because most people believe that positive effects on blood sugar and cholesterol are solely due to weight loss,” says Dr. Lars Ove Dragsted, researcher at the Institute of Diet, Exercise and Sport at the University of Copenhagen. “We found that not to be the case. Other mechanisms also play a role.”
What are these mechanisms? Researchers say this may have to do with the type of fats people eat during the Nordic diet — fats from sources like fish, flaxseed, sunflower and canola. After analyzing blood samples from people in the study, they found that those who benefited the most had certain substances in their blood associated with polyunsaturated fatty acids.
The researchers say they’re speculating at this point, but they can confirm that cutting out highly processed foods and eating less saturated fat from animals promotes health. So it would make sense that the fat composition in the Nordic diet, which is higher in omega-3 and omega-6 unsaturated fatty acids, is likely a reason why people see health benefits even when they’re not losing weight.
Even if people on the Nordic diet experience health benefits without losing weight, the researchers say that losing weight is still a very important part of diet and healthy living.
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