It's not just flat-pack furniture and television dramas that the Scandinavians do so well – their diet is also a winner.
Gastronomy and healthy eating don't usually figure in the same sentence. Yet both foodies and health experts are singing the praises of the New Nordic Diet, which is based on seasonal berries, cold-climate vegetables, wild meat and fat-rich fish. "Like the Mediterranean diet, the Nordic diet is rich in omega-3 fats and mono-unsaturated fats, low in saturated fats and high in fibre and lean proteins," says Sydney-based dietitian Geraldine Georgeou.
Nordic food first came to international attention thanks to ground-breaking Copenhagen restaurant Noma, whose co-founders, René Redzepi and Claus Meyer, eschewed fine-dining staples like foie gras in favour of fresh and foraged local ingredients. Now, Meyer has collaborated with University of Copenhagen professor Arne Astrup on OPUS, a five-year research project on the New Nordic Diet to investigate whether it has the potential to prevent weight-related diseases, and to develop food, health and lifestyle strategies for reducing obesity.
Published in Sunday Life. Copyright SMH.
Some scientists believe fasting for two days a week could improve your health. Can you have your cake and eat it, too?
Every so often, a new diet comes along that captures the public's attention. And 2013 looks set to be the year of the 5:2 diet. Rather than restricting food on a daily basis, which is the traditional approach to dieting, 5:2 means you cut your kilojoule intake for just two, non-consecutive days a week – then eat normally the rest of the time.
On fasting days, men can eat 2500 kilojoules and women 2100 kilojoules, around a quarter of the recommended daily kilojoule intake. There are no rules on what you can and can't eat – you just need to stick within the kilojoule limit.
For women, a sample fast-day menu is a breakfast of two eggs with 50 grams of smoked salmon and black coffee or tea (1000 kilojoules) and another meal of 120 grams of grilled chicken with steamed vegetables (1100 kilojoules). You're encouraged to drink plenty of water and green tea throughout the day, and men can add a slice of multigrain bread and a handful of strawberries.
Published in Sun-Herald's Sunday Life. Copyright Fairfax Media.
Intermittent fasting - where you restrict calorie intake a couple of days a week and eat what you want on others - is being heralded as the secret to losing weight and living longer.
For years we have been told to "eat little and often" and "never skip meals" in order to lose weight and keep it off.
Now, scientists are discovering that short periods of fasting could not only help us beat the bulge, they may also protect against age-related diseases.
Intermittent fasting, where you eat about 25 per cent of your daily energy needs for a couple of days a week, is being touted as potentially "revolutionary".
Studies suggest it could lower the risk of heart disease and protect against diabetes, cancer and neurological diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.
Published in Sunday Telegraph's body + soul. Copyright News Limited.
If you’re tired of the treadmill, check out these quirky keep-fit classes.
Tying to keep the ‘Heathrow injection’ at bay but lost the motivation to hit the gym? There are plenty of ways to keep fit in the capital, but if you’re looking for something a little more leftfield, try one of these wacky workouts instead.
You may not be able to leap tall buildings in a single bound, but a few parkour, or freerunning, classes could see you hurdling across London with the best of them. Freerunning is basically urban acrobatics in which people scale walls, jump from building to building and use the city landscape to perform stunts and tricks.
Parkour Generations encourages beginners to master the basic principles in one of their outdoor classes before honing skills in an indoor class.
Published in TNT Magazine UK. Copyright TNT Magazine UK.
I'm an Aussie journalist and content editor with experience writing for newspapers, magazines and online.