Nordic Diet Curbs Obesity Trigger

By: Michael Lam, MD, MPH


Several images of food including salmon, vegetables, fruits and nuts, all part of the nordic dietFat tissue contains inflammation-associated genes, and evidence suggests that a diet that includes vegetables, berries, oily fish, and whole grains could reduce these genes. This kind of diet could curb the obesity trigger in many people. This is traditionally called the Nordic diet and, to no surprise, those individuals living in Norway frequently partake in this diet. Citizens of Denmark and Sweden also enjoy it. This diet primarily consists of vegetables, berries, oily fish, and whole grains.

Marjukka Kolehmainen from the University of Eastern Finland along with his associates conducted a study containing a group of obese individuals. These people all had characteristics of metabolic syndrome. The randomized intervention study lasted 18 to 24 weeks and it compared a control diet with the Nordic diet. The control diet consisted of butter-based spreads, a limited amount of fish, and low-fiber grain products. The Nordic diet, on the other hand, included vegetables, whole grain products, root vegetables, fruit, berries, rapeseed oil, three serving of fish every seven days, and low-fat dairy products.

There were no noteworthy changes in weight over the course of the study. This was because participants were asked to sustain their current body weight and not lose or gain any pounds during the period of the intervention. At the very start of the study, as well as the end, adipose tissues were taken for analysis. In an effort to study the expression of the genes, a transciptome analysis was done. One hundred and twenty-eight unique genes were observed with differences in expression between the Nordic diet group and the control diet group.

The expression of multiple different inflammation-associated genes was lower in the Nordic diet group than it was in the control group. The authors conducting the study concluded that a healthy Nordic diet was capable of reducing inflammatory gene expression, located in subcutaneous adipose tissue. This difference was observed compared to the control diet. These findings were also independent of change in weight, and subjects had features that fit the picture of metabolic syndrome.

Even though there was no weight loss during the study, the expression of these genes was reduced. An inflammatory state located in adipose tissue is thought to be the cause of negative health effects, which result from being overweight. The results from this study were published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Atherosclerosis is one issue connected to being overweight, in addition to issues found in lipid and sugar metabolism. It is possible that these problems may be the result of a low-grade inflammatory state. This in turn leads to a disturbance in the function of adipose tissue. There is very little data that was collected, over a long-term period, regarding the role diet plays in the inflammatory state and the proper function of adipose tissue genes. Several chronic diseases have been connected to low-grade inflammation and this study answers some questions that could help advancements in the medical field.

Adrenal Fatigue and Weight Gain

A man biting into a hamburger, representing the poor nutrition that the typical American diet provides versus the nordic dietStress is one of the biggest factors in weight gain, and, similarly, it is also a major factor in adrenal fatigue. Stress-eating is one of the more obvious reasons why many people gain weight, but even if an individual does not notice any emotional stress their body may still be experiencing stress. Without eating more, a person may gain weight if the hormones in their body are not functioning correctly.

The adrenal glands produce cortisol to manage stress but cortisol is also released for the purpose of controlling glucose levels in the blood. When an individual hasn’t eaten in some time, the adrenal glands will release cortisol so that the body still has enough fuel to keep going. While cortisol is doing its job, insulin assists in conveying the glucose into cells.

Chronic or long-term stress leads to excess fat, because cortisol and insulin are working overtime on a constant basis. The extra glucose is stored as fat even when it is not necessary. This typically happens in the thighs and abdomen. Cells possess receptors for cortisol and the majority of these cells are located in the abdomen. This frustrating event can often turn into a cycle that is difficult to break. Even if a person was eating and exercising the same as they always had, they could end up gaining weight because of the over-activity in these hormones.

Managing Weight Gain Resulting from Adrenal Fatigue

In order to lose weight in such a situation the key does not lie in exercise and diet, necessarily, but in stress. Of course, healthy food and exercising remain important and generally should be implemented in such a scenario. Those individuals who focus on their stress levels and find effective ways to control the stress response will experience the best results along with diet and exercise. Taking genuine measures to regain peace and stillness in a person’s life can not only help their weight and promote normal cortisol levels, but it can also assist in healing the adrenals and reducing adrenal exhaustion.

A sign with the text Eat Regularly, indicating that proper timing along with the nordic diet work together to improve healthIt is important to eat regularly, and at the same times on a consistent basis. This helps the body to understand it is not starving and doesn’t need to store glucose. Choose healthy foods and eat three meals every day. It is best to eat a big breakfast since cortisol levels tend to be naturally higher during the early part of the day. It will also be important to stabilize blood sugar and avoid carbs and excess sugar. Aside from focusing directly on the issues of weight-gain and stress, the health of the adrenal glands themselves should be recognized.

This means that an individual must take sincere steps to heal the adrenal glands so that cortisol production can truly get back to normal. This also ensures that all hormonal function in the body is running, as it should. When the adrenal glands function as they need to, weight gain will be curbed and the body will see major improvements.


? Copyright 2016 Michael Lam, M.D. All Rights Reserved.

Several images of food including salmon, vegetables, fruits and nuts, all part of the nordic diet




2 Comments

  • Aina Baron says:

    I have a question unrelated to diet. I am on blood thinner meds and blood pressure meds. Can I safely take Gingko biloba used in some adrenal/thyroid support supplements?

    • Dr.Lam says:

      Gingko has blood thinning effect,and if you are on blood thinner, you need to ask your doctor for permission. Adrenal and thryoid support increase metabolism and can raise blood pressure, so that is also something you need to talk to your doctor.

      Dr Lam