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   Jan 08

High blood pressure? Go Nordic: Eating like a Viking can reduce the damaging effects of being overweight – and stave off diabetes

Nordic diet is full of fish, vegetables, berries and rapeseed oils

It stops the expression of a gene associated with inflammation in fat cells

Inflammation is associated with chronic diseases like diabetes

Effects were seen without those on the diet losing weight, say researchers

A Nordic diet, full of fish, vegetables, berries and rapeseed oil can reduce the damaging effects of being overweight, a study found.

Nordic researchers discovered the Nordic diet can prevent inflammation which is associated with many obesity-related diseases.

The diet seems to stops the expression of a gene in fat cells found below the skin, which is associated with inflammation.

Inflammation of the fat tissue below the skin, known as the subcutaneous adipose tissue, is believed to cause many health problems such as diabetes, high blood pressure.

A Nordic diet including fresh fish three times a week can reduce the health-damaging effects of being overweight, researchers discovered

It is also associated with a condition called athlerosclerosis – where the arties become clogged up with fatty substances known as plaques.

These can cause the arteries to harden and narrow, restricting blood flow to organs and stop them functioning.

They can also cause blood clots, which can trigger a heart attack or a stroke.

The Nordic diet has been touted as the next big trend in weight loss.

It involves eating seasonal ingredients including fresh vegetables and fruit, foraged herbs – even dandelions – from the wild, lots of fish, less meat and more game.

Copenhagen University researchers published a study earlier this year which found that overweight Danes on the healthy Nordic diet lost three times as much weight as those eating more typical fare such as meat balls, pizza and spaghetti.

Researchers from the University of East Finland wanted to find out whether the Nordic diet could affect inflammation that causes chronic diseases like obesity and high blood pressure, without weight loss.

They recruited middle aged men and women exhibiting at least two characteristics of metabolic syndrome, a combination of diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity.

This included increased blood pressure, high blood sugar levels even at fasting, abnormal levels of fat in the blood, or being at slightly overweight.

For a period of 18 to 24 weeks, half of the study participants followed the health-promoting Nordic diet consisting of whole grain products, vegetables, root vegetables, berries, fruit, low-fat dairy products, rapeseed oil and three servings of fish per week.

What do you need to eat and drink to follow the Nordic diet

The Nordic diet involves ditching olive oil for controlled amounts of rapeseed oil (pictured)

A field of rapeseed plants, from which rapeseed oil is produced, is pictured

The control group consumed low-fibre grain products, butter-based spreads, and had a limited intake of fish.

Participants were asked to keep their body weight the same during the study, and researchers found no significant weight changes occurred during this time.

Samples of their fatty tissue were taken at the beginning and end of the study, and transcriptomics analysis was performed in order to study the expression of genes.

The researchers found differences in the functioning of as many as 128 genes in the fatty tissue as a result of the diet.

The expression of several inflammation-associated genes was lower than in the control group.

The researchers said it is ‘significant’ that diet can be used to affect the expression of genes associated with inflammation, without weight loss.

Annabel talks about how to use Nordic Diet to lose weight


Eating a handful of bilberries a day could reduce the effects of a high-fat diet, scientists found

A handful of bilberries a day could help reduce the impact of a high-fat diet, scientists found.

Eating the small, blue, flat-topped fruit – the wilder, more acidic version of a blueberry – diminishes the harmful effects of eating a lot of fat.

For the first time, the berries – which are grown in the wild in the north of England and are a key part of the Nordic diet – were shown to have beneficial effects on both blood pressure and inflammation.

Inflammation is the body’s natural immune response and is initially beneficial, but can cause several conditions and diseases in the long term.

The University of East Finland researchers believe the beneficial health effects of bilberries are due to high levels of polyphenols.

These are a a disease-fighting chemical component significantly higher in bilberries than in commercially-cultivated blueberries.

Source: Daily Mail

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