British people should follow a Nordic diet to improve their health, WHO says

Rob Waugh
Eat like a Viking to live longer (Picture Livestrong)
Eat like a Viking to live longer (Picture Livestrong)

The health benefits of the Mediterranean diet are well-known – but Britons could also improve their health by following the Nordic diet, the World Health Organisation has said.

The Nordic diet includes vegetables, berries, pulses and fatty fish such as herring, mackerel and salmon, the WHO says.

Instead of olive oil, people following the Nordic diet consume rapeseed oil, the WHO said.

A review by the WHO found that Britain could lower its rate of heart disease, cancer, diabetes and stroke by switching to the diet.


The review found evidence that both Mediterranean and Nordic diets reduced disease risks – but only 15 out of 53 countries in Europe promoted them.

João Breda from the WHO’s European office for prevention and control of noncommunicable diseases said, ‘“Both of these diets are really good in terms of impact on health. That is not in doubt.

‘We wanted to know whether countries were using them to inform healthy eating policies.’

‘All countries need to do more in terms of promoting good diets, because we have an emergency here.

‘We are not recommending any particular diet, but when countries think about the improvements they want to make, they might be inspired by these diets. If you adopt them, you save the health system money. There are lots of advantages.’