Objective: Diet has a significant impact on health, and ensuring that the population eats a healthy diet remains a public health challenge. Research is needed in order to improve the palatability of a healthy diet and make it attractive to the consumer. It has also been suggested that dietary recommendations should be tailored to regional conditions. The OPUS (Optimal well-being, development and health for Danish children through a healthy New Nordic Diet) project investigates whether it is possible to develop a healthy New Nordic Diet (NND) that is palatable, environmentally friendly and based on foods originating from the Nordic region. The present paper describes the overall guidelines for the NND, developed and investigated in the multidisciplinary, 5-year OPUS research project. All guidelines are described in relation to the key principles: health, gastronomic potential and Nordic identity, and sustainability.
Results: The NND is described by the overall guidelines: (i) more calories from plant foods and fewer from meat; (ii) more foods from the sea and lakes; and (iii) more foods from the wild countryside. These overall guidelines result in a set of proposed dietary components which will be presented in a subsequent paper.
Conclusions: Both the guidelines and the diet are composed taking the potential health-promoting properties and Nordic identity of the NND into account, as well as concern for environmental issues and gastronomic potential.