What is the core food of the Scandinavian Diet

What is the core food of the Scandinavian Diet?

Every diet has some sort of backstory or a specific origin that lays its foundation. The Scandinavian diet is also based on the dietary options of the multiple Scandinavian countries. But to make it a wholesome diet there should be a core food that binds it together. That’s why the question arises, is there any core food that forms the Scandinavian diet? Let’s take a tour of the Scandinavian people’s dietary habits to get our answers.

What is the Scandinavian diet?

A diet originated in the Scandinavian countries, that requires people to follow the eating habits of Scandinavian people. Another name for this diet is the Nordic diet. It is a whole-food and plant-centric diet that is focused on the higher consumption of fruits, vegetables, seafood, and whole grains like rye, oat, and barley instead of refined grains or processed foods.

What is the core food of the Scandinavian diet?

The Scandinavian diet is a diet full of a variety of healthy foods. At first, the Scandinavian people consumed seafood as their core food item. Later on, they got more inclined towards seasonal fruits and vegetables with a combination of whole-grain foods. But their dietary habits are based on ten concepts, on which the Scandinavian diet has been built.

  1. Consumption of more whole grains
  2. Daily consumption of more fruits and vegetables
  3. Incorporation of fresh seafood
  4. Eating less but high-quality meat
  5. Eating raw and wild foods
  6. Consumption of organic foods only
  7. Changing meals according to seasonal produce
  8. Consumption of home-cooked meals
  9. Avoiding food additives
  10. Reducing environmental waste through diet choices

These ten core elements decide the basics of the Scandinavian diet. However, the diet choices even in Scandinavian countries vary to some extent as well, according to their seasonal production. In some Scandinavian countries, people avoid added sugar at all costs while in some they don’t mind a little sugar.

That’s why it’s hard to choose one core food of the Scandinavian diet. But looking at their eating pattern, one thing can be said for sure, a lot of whole grains, seafood, seasonal fruits and vegetables, and moderate lean meat are what lies at the foundation of the Scandinavian diet and its potential health benefits. And if they have to choose one among them, they’ll go for the seasonal fruits and veggies, because people of these nations prefer to have wild and organic foods and there could not be a better option than seasonal ones.

What foods do you eat on the Scandinavian diet?

Every diet has its own rules and regulations, and so does the Scandinavian diet. Let’s see what you can eat on this diet and what you need to avoid.

1: Whole grains

The Scandinavian or Nordic people get most of their calories from whole grain foods like oats, barley, and rye. They also consume whole-grain bread and pasta that are free of any additive sugar.

2: Fruits

Not all sorts of fruits, but the fruits that grow seasonally in such a cold environment in the Scandinavian countries are consumed at large. Berries are the ones including but are not limited to lingonberries, raspberries, blueberries, and strawberries.

3: Vegetables

Fresh and organic vegetables are a favorite part of the meal for the Scandinavian people. They consume their locally grown vegetables including pears, apples, potatoes, cabbage, and root vegetables.

4: Seafood

As the people of the Scandinavian countries love to eat raw and organic food, they like to consume freshly caught fish. Their most common pick from seafood is fish like mackerel or salmon. They also like to consume low-fat fish including haddock or cod.

5: Poultry

Red meat is avoided or consumed in very small quantities. Instead of red meat, they prefer lean meat of chicken, turkey, or lamb. It also helps them in playing their part in reducing the environmental waste, even if it is minimal.

6: Dairy products

Only low-fat dairy products like cheese, yogurt, and milk are allowed on this diet. But these products should be pure of any additives or sweeteners.

How to eat like a Scandinavian?

The Scandinavian countries had been considered the homeland of the Vikings. Vikings never bothered to look out for specific foods or to avoid fats. They just consumed a lot of food that was available to become stronger. These countries touch a lot of water sources, which provided them with raw fish, their major dietary component. With the passage of time, they started growing fruits, vegetables, and grains on their farms and consumed them along with meat sources.

As civilization happened all over the world, a change in their diet pattern was observed. They started eating more wisely by proportioning the food into three meals and in such a way that every meal contained all sorts of nutrients. They also took coffee breaks during these meals.

To eat like a Scandinavian means you need to fill your meals more with seasonal vegetables and fruits, mostly berries including strawberries, blueberries, and others. Your plate should also have some whole grain foods and dairy items that are low on fat. Meat options are limited to fish and poultry in this diet.


Diets that stand on the weak foundation of a single food item never make it to the top. The Scandinavian diet has been winning people due to its nutritious properties, that’s why there can’t be just one food that can make it what it is. A balanced blend of food from sea and land makes the Scandinavian diet so special and beneficial. So if you are looking for the core food of this diet, just remember, it’s the whole package- you can’t cherry-pick a food from this diet and expect all of its benefits. You need to accept it in its wholesome way.


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