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Tuesday 16 September 2014

Michelin-star diet could help you shed pounds

Laura Donnelly

Published 02/09/2014 | 02:30

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Rene Redzepi of Noma

It is hailed as the finest restaurant in the world for its unique twist on Scandinavian fare - with wild berries, fish and dandelions served alongside 'malt soil' and herbs.

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But now heart experts say a diet based on recipes from the Danish restaurant Noma could shed pounds and protect against heart attacks and strokes.

For decades, cardiologists had promoted the benefits of a Mediterranean diet, with high levels of olive oil, fish and sun-ripened vegetables, to protect the heart.

But new research, presented at the European Society of Cardiologists Congress in Barcelona, shows that men and women who followed recipes from chefs at Noma lost three times as much weight as those on a standard diet.

The Michelin-starred eatery in Copenhagen has become world-renowned for its unusual fare, and was named the best restaurant in the world in four of the last five years.

Run by chef Rene Redzepi (inset), it has made its name for serving seasonal and foraged foods including asparagus, blueberries, fish roe and lingonberries, including its signature meal, Vegetable Dish with Malt Soil, in which tiny root vegetables are planted in what looks like earth, but is actually made of flour and nuts.

Despite the high prices of the restaurant - where a tasting menu with wine costs almost €350 - researchers said the daily costs of the regime were approximately €6 a day, around 25pc more than the costs of the standard diet.

The study of 181 obese men and women found those on the diet lost an average of more than 10 pounds in six months. Those who were put on a standard Danish diet lost just three pounds in the same period. Those placed on the Noma diet also saw greater reductions in their blood pressure, reducing the chance of heart attacks and strokes, the study found.

Researchers from Copenhagen University worked with the restaurant's chefs to devise 180 recipes and seasonal menu plans for dieters. The diet comprises 15 food groups: fruit and vegetables (especially berries, cabbages, root vegetables and legumes), potatoes, fresh herbs, plants and mushrooms gathered from the wild, nuts, whole grains, meats from livestock and game, fish, shellfish and seaweed.

Recipes included baked cod with celery, sweet water pike grilled with summer cabbage and turbot in bread crumbs. Little red meat was eaten, with poultry or game chosen instead, meaning less fat.

Irish Independent

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