Illustration: Javier Perez

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For years, doctors have been singing the praises of the Mediterranean diet for its link to increased longevity and healthier hearts. But research now suggests we might do well to set our sights farther north: The New Nordic Diet (NND)—think Mediterranean but with hardier vegetables and more wild game—could lower blood pressure and cholesterol and help you shed pounds.

A 2014 study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that obese Danish adults following the NND not only consumed, on average, 422 fewer calories per day than those eating traditional Danish fare (similar to standard U.S. meals of refined grains, meat, dairy and sugar), but they also reported feeling more satisfied. Eating the NND way may also reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by an estimated 20 to 40 percent, according to recent research. And perhaps the most impressive finding for noshing Nordic-style: When researchers followed more than 55,000 Danish women and men for 12 years, they discovered that those who ate substantial amounts of six characteristic NND foods (including cabbage, rye bread, oatmeal and root veggies) had a 25 to 36 percent lower risk of death than those who ate the least. Hungry? Get started with these new diet rules.