Baltic Sea diet reduces risks of obesity, inflammation: study

Source:Xinhua Published: 2014-11-28 11:11:44

A Baltic Sea diet could significantly lower levels of obesity and inflammation, doctoral candidate Noora Kanerva discovered in her research at the University of Helsinki.

The Baltic Sea diet is based on consuming Nordic ingredients, including a lot of fruits, berries and vegetables, as well as Nordic grain varieties (such as rye, oats and barley), rapeseed oil, fish and fat-free milk. Large amounts of red meat, hard fat and alcohol are essentially avoided.

Diet is known to play a key role in preventing obesity and inflammation which are considered key factors in the development of chronic diseases, such as type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

The doctoral research was based on health data of nearly 12,000 Finns collected by the Finnish National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL).

The research found that people who followed a Baltic Sea diet ate almost double the amount of Nordic grains than others. They also consumed more carbohydrates, fibers, vitamins and minerals, while consuming a lower amount of saturated fats.

The research results showed that people who stuck to a Baltic Sea diet had a 40 percent lower risk of abdominal obesity than the average population, and their risk of higher inflammatory levels was also 40 percent lower than among people who were the least committed to this diet.

The researcher suggested that even making a small change like eating more dark rye bread could make a significant improvement in one's health, if dieting is difficult.

The doctoral dissertation was published on Julkari, an open publications website operated under the Finnish Ministry of Social Affairs and Health.

Noora Kanerva will defend her dissertation at the University of Helsinki on Nov. 28.

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