We looked at several diets and didn’t come up with the best diet foods, let go through the list.
The Nordic Diet ranks high
In this diet, you do not count calories; you calculate the carbohydrates/proteins ratio of your meals. The perfect meal has a 2:1 ratio of carb grams to protein grams – 100g of carbs for 50g of protein. Sounds easy and promising.
For carbohydrates, get with low glycemic index foods (GI). Most veggies and fruits, they say, but the list from health specialists says a little differently:
- High GI
- Dried Dates
- Winter squash
- Bread, in fact all the fluffy ones
- Low GI
- Many fruits (apple, cranberries, Grapefruit, Peaches, Pears, Prunes, Raspberries, Strawberries, etc…)
- Non- starchy vegetables (Asparagus, Artichoke, Avocado, Broccoli, Cabbage, Cauliflower, etc…)
- Olives and oils:
- High GI
Interestingly enough, steel-cut oats are lower GI than instant oatmeal (processed vs unprocessed again)
In the Nordic plan, the best diet foods are fish like shellfish or white, fatty fishes, lean meat (pork, veal and beef) and skinless poultry provide healthy protein.
Fish, salmon, mackerel and sardines – provide healthy omega-3 fatty acids which vegetarian diets lack.
The “experts” claim that fish is also easier on the environment than beef… I do not think so… Read this article about fish farming anything raised industrially (fish or animals) is bad for the environment.
I spent a few months in Norway, visiting their oil production – remember I worked for an American oil company. I ate some delicious typical dishes like:
- Kjøttkaker, a combination of seasoned minced meat with many minor ingredients such as rusk or onions formed into a meatball (delicious and no fish).
- Pinnekjøtt, a hearty meal of ribs of lamb on mashed kohlrabi. Very rich and salty. (Excellent and still no fish)
- Raspeballer, fatty cuts of pork, small balls of potato simmered and then with pan-friend bacon. (bacon is not fish, is it?)
- Lutefisk, dried cod soaked in lye – the cod is rinsed in water several times and served with potatoes, bacon and mushy peas. (it’s an acquired taste… it dates back to the 16th century)
- Rakfisk, trout placed into wooden barrels of salt, and spruce branches to ferment the trout flesh. (another acquired taste 🙂 )
- Pickled Herring, brined herring fillet cured with salt and vinegar to preserve the fish. (my favorite)
Many dishes with meat and game meat, many preserved fishes and strong meals… not sure if they fit in a best diet foods:
- Rye bread + cheese
- Jam and butter
- Often meat and fish (salami, ham, smoked salmon or pickled herring)
- Muesli is also common
- Coffee is a must
- Egg dishes do not seem to be the norm.
- Bread, flat bread, butter
- Meat or fishes often pickled
- Few veggies due to because of short growing seasons
- Cake, Nordics LOVE sweet cakes (oh my…)
- Dinner seems to be a repeat of lunch
- Snacks… delicious sweets 🙂
I recommend this book “The Nordic Diet: Using Local and Organic Food to Promote a Healthy Lifestyle” by Trina Hahnemann – I read the book as it promotes organic and local.
The bottom line for this Nordic best diet foods
Lots of carbs, lower fat, lots of veggies, close to what my wife and I are doing today with no large positive impact. Not a get thin quick solution even though is sounds healthy.
Next… the Ornish Diet
The Ornish Diet exists since 1977 and was developed by Dr. Dean Ornish, a professor of medicine at the University of California. Ok, let’s check it out.
How does the Ornish Diet work?
It seems easy to go into the Ornish Diet for a general health boost but modest weight loss – no fast melting 🙁
- Exchange processed carbohydrates such as white bread and pasta for wholegrain. Things like wholegrain bread or quinoa spaghetti.
- Avoid saturated fat, less animal products and processed foods.
- Add more fruits and vegetables.
- Replace full fat dairy for low-fat or nonfat versions.
- Add stress management techniques to your daily routine.
- Spend time with friends and family.
Ok, this I can do 🙂
The pain point is the belonging to a support group to do stress management… remember my comments on the Mediterranean Diet? In southern Europe meals as social events, no lunches and dinners in 10 minutes tops.
Thinking about it, another more whole foods (the best diet foods, unprocessed), less fat and more fruits and veggies plus a stress management component.
Experts say: “You may or may not lose weight on the Ornish Diet,” not a touchdown 🙁
We read this book by Dr. Dean Ornish “The Spectrum: A Scientifically Proven Program to Feel Better, Live Longer, Lose Weight, and Gain Health“, definitively interesting read.