Why you should try the Danish diet NOW: The regime Princess Mary follows to stay fit in her 40s

With her enviably toned arms and legs and flat stomach after having four children, Crown Princess Mary of Denmark is the picture of health at age 47.

So what are her dietary secrets?

Reports suggest that the Australian-born royal has the ‘Danish diet’ to thank for her long, lean physique – a regime that is founded upon wholesome health foods.

With her enviably toned arms and legs and flat stomach after having four children, Crown Princess Mary of Denmark is the picture of health in her forties (pictured in 2014, at age 42)

With her enviably toned arms and legs and flat stomach after having four children, Crown Princess Mary of Denmark is the picture of health in her forties (pictured in 2014, at age 42)

Reports suggest that the Australian-born royal has the 'Danish diet' to thank for her long, lean physique - a regime that is founded upon wholesome health foods (pictured in 2017, at age 45)

Reports suggest that the Australian-born royal has the ‘Danish diet’ to thank for her long, lean physique – a regime that is founded upon wholesome health foods (pictured in 2017, at age 45)

But just what is the ‘Danish diet’? 

‘People living in Denmark tend to eat more fish, especially oily fish like salmon and less meat than a typical Western diet,’ Sydney-based dietitian Lyndi Cohen told FEMAIL.

‘In the “Danish diet”, the emphasis is on high quality meats when meats are eaten – and lean options.’

A closer look at the regime shows the Danes typically have a lower intake of carbohydrates and a higher intake of good fats like nuts and seeds and protein.

'People living in Denmark tend to eat more fish, especially oily fish like salmon and less meat than a typical Western diet,' Sydney-based dietitian Lyndi Cohen (pictured) told FEMAIL

‘People living in Denmark tend to eat more fish, especially oily fish like salmon and less meat than a typical Western diet,’ Sydney-based dietitian Lyndi Cohen (pictured) told FEMAIL

What is the Danish diet?

* People living in Denmark tend to eat more fish, and especially oily fish like salmon.

* They also eat less meat than a typical Western diet and the emphasis is on high quality, lean meats.

* The diet includes fruit and encourages snacking on berries and nuts.

* It also includes plenty of root vegetables, such as carrots, potatoes and parsnips.

* When bread is eaten, it’s normally of the Rye variety – which is really high in fibre. 

‘The Danish diet includes fruit and encourages snacking on berries, which are high in antioxidants that can protect against disease,’ Lyndi said.

‘It also includes plenty of root vegetables like carrots, parsnip and potatoes, while rye bread is a staple food in the diet – principally because it it much higher in nutrients like the B group vitamins, Iron, phytochemicals and magnesium.

‘Rye also contains considerably more fibre than white options, which can support a healthy and heart health,’ she said.

The dietitian explained if Princess Mary is following the ‘Danish diet’, then she is likely to be snacking on plenty of fruit and vegetables and eating lots of oily fish, potatoes, nuts and seeds and cheese. 

Lyndi Cohen said the 'Danish diet' is a 'sensible' choice, because instead of focusing on cutting out foods, 'the emphasis is on including more healthy foods' (Princess Mary pictured in 2018, at age 46)

Lyndi Cohen said the ‘Danish diet’ is a ‘sensible’ choice, because instead of focusing on cutting out foods, ‘the emphasis is on including more healthy foods’ (Princess Mary pictured in 2018, at age 46) 

 Speaking about the benefits of the ‘Danish diet’, Lyndi said it’s one of the better choices if you do want to diet.

‘The “Danish diet” is really sensible,’ she said. ‘Instead of focusing on cutting out foods, the emphasis is on including more healthy foods.’

Lyndi said healthy fats feature heavily in this diet, which are great for brain and heart health.

‘Unlike the Western diet, the Danes are not afraid of potatoes,’ she said.

‘If you eat too much of anything, it won’t be healthy for you. However, including potatoes can be incredibly healthy. Include the skin, bake them instead of frying and stick to about 1/2-one cup per day to help you get a balanced mix of nutrients from other foods.’

Lyndi also said that following the ‘Danish diet’ doesn’t mean you have the ability to eat endless hot chips either.

‘The Danes are more likely to enjoy baked potato or a homemade potato salad than hash browns,’ she said. 

'Unlike the Western diet, the Danes are not afraid of potatoes,' Lyndi said (pictured: Princess Mary in 2017, at age 45)

‘Unlike the Western diet, the Danes are not afraid of potatoes,’ Lyndi said (pictured: Princess Mary in 2017, at age 45)

What is a typical day on a plate for the Danish diet?

* Breakfast: Rolled oats with plain Skyr yoghurt and berries.

* Snack: Apple or pear with almond utter and herbal tea.

* Lunch: Smørrebrød – or a typical open-faced sandwich made on Rye bread.

* Afternoon snack: Handful of nuts or carrot.

* Dinner: 100g of lean grilled wild meat such as venison, elk or kangaroo.

* OR: A baked potato with legumes, goats cheese, red onion and herbs. 

For those who want to give the diet a go, Lyndi said the ideal day on a plate might feature rolled oats with plain Skyr yoghurt and berries for breakfast, an apple or pear with almond butter and herbal tea for a snack and Smørrebrød – or a typical open-faced sandwich made on Rye bread – for lunch.

‘In the afternoon, you might have a handful of nuts or carrot, then 100g of lean grilled wild meat such as venison, elk or kangaroo for dinner,’ she said.

‘You’d typically eat this with baked root vegetables like beetroot, carrots and onion.’

Alternatively, you might try a baked potato with legumes, goats cheese, red onion and herbs.    

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