Swedish cuisine has never conjured up the romantic images of French cooking or the passion of Italian food.
“Meat, potatoes and vegetables are the basic ingredients of many Swedish meals and are used a lot,” says Per-Martin Eriksson, former owner of a restaurant serving traditional Swedish food.
“Herring is also commonly eaten and we use lots of different gravies and sauces,” adds chef Marita Eriksson.
Sweden has one of the lowest prevalences of obesity in Europe, according to a report in 2007 by the International Association for the Study of Obesity.
“Traditional Swedish food is healthy but right now the food here is terrible,” says Stefan Kilander, a personal trainer at Planet Fitness health club.
“There is too much cheap, low quality, imported meat,” he adds.
Exercise is important but is also just one part of losing weight and staying fit and healthy in the long-term.
“If you don’t eat properly it takes away the benefits of training,” comments Kilander, “diet is 100 percent important to being fit and healthy.”
Eating fewer potatoes is a good way to lose weight and keep the bulge at bay, recommends Kilander.
“We eat too many carbohydrates like potatoes, rice and pasta. With people sitting down in offices for hours at a time they don’t use the energy carbohydrates give and it turns to fat,” he adds.
High quality, lean protein sources such as chicken and fish help to build and maintain muscle after exercise.
“Try to eat ekologisk (organic) meat, it’s more healthy and it does make a difference,” advises Kilander.
Portion size is just as vital as what you eat when trying to lose weight and reduce body fat.
“Most people who want to lose weight eat three big meals a day, I tell them to eat five or six smaller meals a day and stay away from frozen microwave food and any junk food” Kilander says.
Of the most commonly used Swedish meats, elk is preferable to beef, because “it has less fat,” he adds.
Planet Fitness health club in Stockholm can help with good eating habits, as well as personalised fitness plans.
“Our personal trainers give nutrition tips and we also offer our members the chance to make a booking to get individual nutrition advice,” says Stuart Lascelles, manager of Planet Fitness.
For more information contact Planet Fitness on 08-440-9150 or click the link below to find out more about special offers for readers of The Local.