The Cretan Diet has become synonymous with the Mediterranean Diet, which has gained so much attention as one of the world’s most healthful. Crete was one of the original places observed in the now famous, and still ongoing, Seven-Countries Study begun by Dr. Ancel Keys in the late 1950s to document the rate of heart disease among several different populations.
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The Cretan Diet: Uncovering Its Heart Health Secrets Through the Ages
By Rita E. Carey, MS, RD, CDE
Today’s Dietitian - Vol. 9 No. 8 P. 34
Studies have long examined what it is about the “Mediterranean” eating pattern that protects against heart disease. Does the answer lie in Crete?
Crete, the legendary birthplace of Zeus, has been a part of human history for 8,000 years. Paleolithic man arrived there around 6000 BC, and over millennia, people from a wide variety of cultures—Minoans, Romans, Arabs, Turks, and others—came to conquer and control the often prosperous and fertile island. Roughly 40 years ago, Crete became the birthplace of something new: the Mediterranean diet, a heart-healthy eating pattern that has become, for many, the de facto diet of anyone living in countries bordering the northern Mediterranean Sea.
Cretans lived on a subsistence regimen of wild greens and vegetables, fruits, legumes, bread and barley rusks, grains, little meat protein (mostly from fish - rare use of red meat), dairy products, honey and plenty of their native olive oil.
International researches have shown that the Cretan Diet offers people good health and long life.
Maria & Nikos Psilakis - (find the book on Cretan cooking and diet here)