New Nordic nutrition advice emphasizes the health and environmental impacts of a plant-based diet

The Nordic Nutrition Recommendations 2023 focus on health and the environment and are the largest update in the report’s 40-year history. The updated recommendations are now considered the broadest scientific basis in the world for achieving healthy diets that benefit the well-being of people and the planet.

Nordic Nutritional Recommendations 2023

The Nordic Nutrition Recommendations 2023 were published by the Nordic Council of Ministers and are the result of many years of cooperation between the Nordic countries. The report provides an evidence-based basis to support the development of dietary guidelines for each country, which will then influence menus in schools, hospitals and other public sector kitchens.

“The report we received today will help Nordic people eat in a healthy and environmentally friendly way,” said Karen Ellemann, Secretary General of the Nordic Council of Ministers.
Hundreds of Nordic and international researchers worked on the report; the methodology met global standards and an eight-week public consultation was conducted before publication to ensure transparency. The report has sparked widespread discussion in several Nordic countries, particularly because it recommends that people reduce their consumption of red meat – a position that is in line with global environmental and climate research.

“Synergies can be created between health and the environment”

The recommendations are rooted in scientific research on food consumption, health and the environment. Rune Blomhoff, a professor at the University of Oslo and leader of the Nordic Nutrition Advice 2023 project, said the report provides scientific evidence that healthy diets are often also sustainable. “There are some huge synergies that can be created between health and the environment in the necessary shift in our food consumption,” Blomhoff said.

The Nordic Nutrition Recommendations 2023 looked at the health effects of 36 nutrients and 15 food groups. They promote a plant-based diet rich in vegetables, fruits, berries, legumes, potatoes and whole grains, and limit alcohol, processed foods and excess sodium and sugar.

The launch of the new Nordic nutrition recommendations has won international praise; World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus praised the report. “I congratulate the Nordic Council of Ministers for an impressive report and an inclusive public consultation process,” he said in a statement. “The overall recommendation to move to a plant-based diet is in line with current scientific literature.”