Just like the Mediterranean diet, recommended in the prevention of cardiovascular diseases, the Nordic diet also shows its beneficial role in preventing the risk of myocardial infarction.
The impact of the Nordic diet on the occurrence of coronary events was assessed using data from the Danish Diet, Cancer and Health cohort study, for which more than 57,000 men and women aged 50 to 64 were included between 1993 and 1997.
Their diet over the past 12 months was assessed where the higher the consumption of fish, cabbage, rye bread, oats, apple, pear and root vegetables, the higher the score.
45% fewer heart attacks with the Nordic diet
During a median follow-up of 13.6 years, 1669 men and 563 women presented with an infarction. A high HNFI score reduced the risk of MI by 23% in men and by 45% in women (compared to subjects with the lowest index). In addition, each index point gained contributed to a reduction in IDM of 5% in men and 7% in women.
Foods that protect the heart
The positive role of this diet on coronary heart disease is certainly explained by the substances provided by its food:
– oily fish are an omega-3 source,
– cabbage contributes to the supply of fiber and flavonoids,
– rye provides lignans, phytosterols, antioxidants and fibre,
– oats are recommended for their beta-glucans,
– apples and pears contribute to the supply of polyphenols and fibers,
– root vegetables are mainly represented by carrots, providing carotenoids.
All these elements have already individually demonstrated their effect in the prevention of cardiovascular diseases, but their synergistic action is probably reinforced.
Gunge VB, Adherence to a healthy Nordic food index and risk of myocardial infarction in middle-aged Danes: the diet, cancer and health cohort study. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 71, 652–658.