Public Health Nutrition

HOT TOPIC – Dietary guidelines

Dietary composition and nutrient content of the New Nordic Diet

Charlotte Mithrila1 c1 p1, Lars Ove Dragsteda1, Claus Meyera2, Inge Tetensa3, Anja Biltoft-Jensena3 and Arne Astrupa1

a1 Department of Human Nutrition, Faculty of Science, University of Copenhagen, Frederiksberg, Denmark

a2 Meyers Madhus, Copenhagen, Denmark

a3 Division of Nutrition, National Food Institute, Technical University of Denmark, Søborg, Denmark


Objective To describe the dietary composition of the New Nordic Diet (NND) and to compare it with the Nordic Nutrition Recommendations (NNR)/Danish Food-based Dietary Guidelines (DFDG) and with the average Danish diet.

Design Dietary components with clear health-promoting properties included in the DFDG were included in the NND in amounts at least equivalent to those prescribed by the DFDG. The quantities of the other dietary components in the NND were based on scientific arguments for their potential health-promoting properties together with considerations of acceptability, toxicological concerns, availability and the environment. Calculations were conducted for quantifying the dietary and nutrient composition of the NND.

Setting Denmark.

Subjects None.

Results The NND is characterized by a high content of fruits and vegetables (especially berries, cabbages, root vegetables and legumes), fresh herbs, potatoes, plants and mushrooms from the wild countryside, whole grains, nuts, fish and shellfish, seaweed, free-range livestock (including pigs and poultry) and game. Overall, the average daily intakes of macro- and micronutrients in the NND meet the NNR with small adjustments based on evidence of their health-promoting properties.

Conclusions The NND is a prototype regional diet that takes palatability, health, food culture and the environment into consideration. Regionally appropriate healthy diets could be created on similar principles anywhere in the world.

(Received January 23 2012)

(Revised August 01 2012)

(Accepted August 23 2012)

(Online publication October 22 2012)


  • Diet;
  • Health;
  • Nordic;
  • OPUS


c1 Corresponding author: Email

p1 Correspondence address: Madkulturen, Maglegårdsvej 12, 4000 Roskilde, Denmark.