Ways to Include Scandinavian Cooking in Your Lipid-Lowering Diet

piyato, istockphoto

Scandinavian cuisine encompasses the flavors and cooking from several countries, including Sweden, Norway, and Denmark. There are many healthy foods in this cuisine, with the foods traditionally found in this region -  root vegetables, whole grains, and berries – frequently incorporated into many of the dishes found from these countries. Because these regions are surrounded by several bodies of water, healthy varieties of fish – including herring, cod, and salmon – also make their way into many traditional Scandinavian foods. Scandinavian cuisine has garnered a lot of attention recently due to the emerging popularity of the Nordic diet. Despite the healthy foods and spices included in these meals, Scandinavian cuisine also contains some unhealthy foods that could derail your lipid-lowering diet. These tips will show you how to add delicious Scandinavian-inspired meals to healthy meal plans.


Although salads can come in a variety of ways, Scandinavian-inspired salads often have ingredients that are not commonly added into salads – but make them delicious nonetheless. These salads often add the foods grown in the region – most commonly root veggies, whole-grain spelt, apples, cucumbers, lingonberries, and greens. Sometimes, sliced salmon or herring will be added to the salad to provide a little protein. One potential pitfall when preparing Scandinavian salads is the use of heavy creams or sour cream in the dish since these can add saturated fat and calories to your meal. Fortunately, you can easily substitute these additions with a low-fat variety of your favorite cream product or use low-fat, plain Greek yogurt to get the same effect – without the fat.​

Side Dishes

Side dishes come in many forms - whether you are preparing a small, whole-grain, pilaf side dish to smooth and creamy mashed root veggies. Some of these sides may contain a high amount of saturated fat including milk, cream, and butter. Opting for low fat milk and cream can help reduce the amount of fat. In cases where butter is needed, you can substitute canola, rapeseed or olive oil, which is higher in unsaturated fat. To make your sides more heart-healthy, you should maximize the amount of vegetables, fruit, and whole grains in your sides - this will lower the amount of saturated fat you are using, but it will also increase your fiber intake. 

Main Dishes

Scandinavian entrees are also chock-full of veggies, fruits, nuts, lean meats, and fish.Many of these delicious dishes are low in fat; however, there are some dishes that may contain beef, pork, and creamy cheeses  – all of which have the potential to add saturated fat and calories to your dish. Luckily, you can use low-fat versions of your favorite cheese and use leaner portions of these - or other proteins - in your cooking. Additionally, you can also use a meat alternative, such as tofu, to lower the amount of calories introduced into your dish.


Scandinavian cuisine is also notorious for its delicious desserts. Although some of these desserts can have a tendency of being a little higher in calories due to their sugar and fat saturated content, there are many other desserts that use heart-healthy ingredients that Scandinavian cooking is famous for – sweet berries and whole grains, both of which are high in fiber. When preparing your desserts, try to minimize the amount of refined sugar and rely on the sweetness of the fruit used in the recipe instead. Scandinavian desserts also contain a lot of heavy cream, so if you are looking to cut saturated fat and calories from the dessert, you can use a low fat version instead. These are a few Scandinavian recipes for scrumptious desserts.

Was this page helpful?

Article Sources