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Eur J Clin Nutr. 2014 Jan;68(1):57-63. doi: 10.1038/ejcn.2013.192. Epub 2013 Oct 16.

Effects of an isocaloric healthy Nordic diet on ambulatory blood pressure in metabolic syndrome: a randomized SYSDIET sub-study.

Author information

  • 1Department of Endocrinology and Internal Medicine, Aarhus University Hospital, Aarhus, Denmark.
  • 2Institute of Public Health and Clinical Nutrition, University of Eastern Finland, and Research Unit, Kuopio University Hospital, Kuopio, Finland.
  • 3Department of Human Nutrition, Faculty of Science, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark.



Dietary pattern is central in the prevention of hypertension and blood pressure (BP)-related diseases. A diet based on healthy Nordic foods may have a favourable impact on BP. The objective was to clarify whether a Nordic alternative for a healthy food pattern would have beneficial effects on ambulatory BP in subjects with metabolic syndrome (MetS).


In total, 37 subjects were randomized to either a healthy Nordic diet or a control diet. A healthy Nordic diet embraced whole grains, rapeseed oil, berries, fruits, vegetables, fish, nuts and low-fat dairy products of Nordic origin. The mean nutrient intake in the Nordic countries formed the control diet, embracing wheat products, dairy fat-based spread and a lower intake of fruits, vegetables and fish. Diets were isoenergetic. Ambulatory BP was monitored and 24-h urine was collected before and after 12 weeks of intervention.


After 12 weeks, ambulatory diastolic BP (-4.4 mm Hg; P=0.001) and mean arterial pressure (-4.2 mm Hg; P=0.006) were lowered by the healthy Nordic diet compared with the control diet, whereas changes in ambulatory systolic BP did not differ significantly between diets (-3.5 mm Hg; P=0.122). Heart rate tended to be lower in those on the healthy Nordic diet (P=0.057). Urinary sodium and potassium excretions were unaffected by diets and consequently not associated with the healthy Nordic diet-induced lowering of BP.


Consumption of Nordic varieties of health-enhancing foods for 12 weeks decreased diastolic ambulatory BP and mean arterial pressure in subjects with features of MetS during weight-stable condition, suggesting beneficial effects of a healthy Nordic dietary pattern on ambulatory BP.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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