The Cretan Diet is known all over the world for the benefits it offers to the human body while the role of nutrition in people’s health is very important
The association between the diet of the Cretan inhabitants and health became widely known with the Study of the Seven Countries in the 1960s.
It was conducted by the American Dr. Ancel Keys and proved that the population of Crete was the longest-term compared to other developed countries. It had the fewest deaths from a heart attack and various cancer types.
The core of the Cretan diet consisted of fresh vegetables and fruits of the time, wild greens, legumes, local dairy products in small quantities, fish, while the meat was rarely eaten and olive oil was in their daily eating routine. The excellent health and longevity of Cretans, according to the research, is attributed to their simple traditional diet.
The Rethymnian Emeritus Professor of Preventive Medicine and Nutrition of the University of Crete, Antonis Kafatos, has pointed out that, during the study, the Cretans also kept the fasts of the Orthodox Church. During fasting it is necessary to abstain from all foods of animal origin (meat, eggs, dairy, cheeses, and fish) thus freeing the body from harmful toxins, while abundant legumes, vegetables, fruits, and olive oil are consumed.
Research by the University of Crete suggests that Orthodox fasting is a continuation of the Minoan Diet (oil, olives, wine, nuts, figs, barley, legumes, sesame, fish, and shellfish). It helps with health problems, sheds cholesterol, blood pressure, acts as a shield from cardiovascular diseases, and stops depression.
Crete has one of the oldest cuisines in the world with roots from Minoan Culture. It is also known that in the excavations of the Minoan palaces have been found jars in which oil, wine, honey, legumes, and cereals were kept, the main ingredients of today's Cretan diet; a diet that is a model for a healthy lifestyle.
Cretan cuisine brings out a culinary history of 4,000 years combining the simple ingredients offered to it in abundance by the Cretan land. It tastes them with aromatic herbs and plants from the mountains of the island and offers them in turn all over the world, accompanying them with the pure love and hospitality that characterize the inhabitants of Crete.