Healthy meals


Start 23. August 2010
End 31. December 2013

The main objective of this project is to establish novel expertise on “healthy meals” by documenting potential favourable health effects of a diet which is in accordance with the Nordic Nutrition Recommendations and based on traditional Nordic raw materials.

The project will focus on the value chain from raw materials and processing to digestion and cells in the body.

In Norway, as in the rest of the industrialised world, the prevalence of overweight and obesity has increased dramatically in recent years and the health consequences of this trend present a major challenge. Obesity is associated with the metabolic syndrome (defined as a cluster of disorders, including insulin resistance, high blood pressure, impaired cholesterol and abdominal obesity) and poses increased risk of lifestyle diseases like cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. The prevalence of overweight and obesity in Norway used to be very low compared to other European countries.

Along with the increased prevalence, changes in meal patterns and food culture have taken place in the direction of a more Western diet, and it is therefore of great interest to explore the health potential of meals based on traditional Norwegian raw materials and Norwegian food production. In order to provide an understanding of how meals, and interactions between meal components, affect the development of metabolic syndrome, the project will include use of in vitro and in vivo models to study biological mechanisms.

The present project aims to provide a better understanding of the effect of diet on various functions of the gastrointestinal tract, including digestion of bioactive components (fibre, polyphenols, milk proteins, unsaturated fat), satiety signalling and immuno modulation, all relevant for the development of metabolic syndrome.

The main target is to provide Norwegian industries with expertise which make them better prepared to:

  • Develop palatable and attractive products and meals composed and processed so that they can be a part of a healthy diet in the prevention of obesity and metabolic syndrome
  • Change the costumers opinion of industrial processed food
  • Promote the use of regional raw materials

Sub projects

  1. Stability of bioactive components during processing and storage
  2. Bioactive components during digestion
  3. In vitro colon fermentation
  4. Effects on the immune system

The project is a interdisciplinary co-operation between University of life science (UMB), National Institute of Nutrition and Seafood Research (Nifes) and Nofima.

None Photo: Kjell J. Merok
Copyright: Nofima

Relevant news

  • The same calorie content, but different weight gain?

    26. May 2014

    Can meals based on Norwegian raw materials prevent overweight? This was the question Norwegian researchers asked themselves, and they decided to use a meal consisting of salmon, barley and broccoli to answer it. They subsequently compared this salmon-based meal with two others: a hamburger meal and a beef meal.

  • Food’s route through the body 29. December 2010