Cretan Diet

Crete is not just famous for its beautiful beaches, the blue sky the antiquities and the breathtaking landscapes. It is also known for its eating habits followed by the Cretan people for centuries.
You already know that the Mediterranean diet is probably the most prevalent and healthy diet nowadays. A lifestyle that offers longevity and good health. What you may not know by now, is that according to international studies, the Cretan diet is the most typical example of Mediterranean diet.

Scientific research has shown that the Cretan diet is one of the most well-balanced diets in the world. It consists of products that the people of Crete produce locally.

The island of Crete offers a wide variety of raw materials thanks to its ideal climate and soil conditions. The Cretans have turned these ingredients into delicious and healthy food products based on traditional recipes that last for more than 3850 years.
The secret of good health and longevity is simple for the Cretans who eat whatever their rich land produces. Fruits, vegetables, herbs, legumes, cheese and bread. They flavor the taste with wonderful herbs, prepare sweets with honey and molasses, and accompany their meal with good Cretan wine.

In Crete, herbs constitute another important tradition. The island is full of varieties of plants that are native only there, as the mountain tea(malotira) and dittany known since antiquity for its antiseptic properties. Hippocrates recommended it as “okytikeio”, that is herb which made women give birth painlessly and quickly.
The Cretans collectors of herbs offer many herbs on the market today such us oregano, basil, lime leaves, marjoram, thyme, mint, rosemary, bay leaf, chamomile, sage and more.
These incredible herbs, grown instep mountains of the island and are collected by experienced people to be dried and brought into contemporary packings without chemical or other treatment.
Contemporary units pack and ensure the plants keep their aroma and their other amazing properties, among them the antioxidant effect they have when consumed.

The comparative study among seven countries, which started in 1960 by Dr.Ancel Keys of Harvard University, having under medical observation a group of 12.000 men (including 700 Crete) resulted that the Cretans had the lowest rate of deaths by heart attacks and various cancers. This study also showed that the population of Crete lived the longest.
When in 1991, 31 years after the start of the Seven Countries Study, the Department of Social Health of the University of Crete undertook the medical surveillance of that group, about 50% of the Cretans was found to be still alive, unlike the other participants of the six countries where there not one survivor (ever in the rest of Crete!)
The fact that oil is actually the only fat consumed in Crete, is one the fundamental characteristics that make the Cretan diet so good.