Mediterranean diet: The secrets of the Cretan diet

The Mediterranean Diet: A Culinary Journey to Health and Happiness

Embark on a delectable adventure with the Mediterranean diet, where every bite is a step towards well-being. Discover the secrets of longevity and vitality as we delve into the rich tapestry of flavors that define this renowned dietary lifestyle.

From heart-healthy olive oil to the vibrant palette of fruits and vegetables, join us in unraveling the delicious mysteries of the Mediterranean diet a pathway to a healthier, happier you.

Mediterranean diet

     With idyllic landscapes and turquoise waters, Crete has many reasons to make us dream.

     But this island with a rich history of thousands of years attracted the attention of the scientific community after the Second World War because of its life expectancy higher than that of other European populations.

     This longevity is attributed to the specific diet of the Mediterranean rim, known as the Mediterranean diet, which in 2010 was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

     It was the American doctor Ancel Keys who introduced the rest of the world to the virtues of the Cretan diet

     In the 1950s, he initiated an extensive study in seven different countries, which continued until the end of the 1990s.

     This study showed that the diet of the Greek and Italian islands, in particular, was associated with fewer cardiovascular diseases and mortality from all causes.

     The study also showed that a balanced diet coupled with moderate alcohol consumption and regular physical activity could postpone cognitive decline and reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease... In short, all good things!

The main principles of the Cretan Diet

     But then what do we eat in Crete and around the Mediterranean, to live longer and better? Lots of vegetables, quality unsaturated fats - with the famous olive oil! - and whole grains, for very little red meat, sugar, and processed products.

     This makes for an amazing cocktail of vitamins, fiber, and antioxidants. The high intake of monounsaturated fatty acids and the low amount of saturated fatty acids (found in red meat and industrial products) provide a balance that reduces cholesterol levels and keeps the arteries healthy.

     Incidentally, the Cretan diet also promotes weight loss as it minimizes the consumption of fatty and sweet foods.

     Don't imagine, however, living a century-old and slim life simply by adopting the Mediterranean diet: the positive and protective effects of this diet have been observed when coupled with regular physical activity.

What foods to choose for a Cretan plate?

     free minds Mediterranean diet

     The basis of the Mediterranean diet is vegetables, varied, and abundant, which provide important quantities of vitamins and antioxidants.

     Desserts are almost absent from the menus, apart from fruit. People do not hesitate to eat oilseeds - nuts, hazelnuts, and almonds, which are major suppliers of unsaturated fatty acids, especially omega-3.

     Fats other than olive oil are banned for seasoning and preparing meals, and legumes are eaten as often as possible for their protein and mineral content.
     People are switching to wholegrain bread and wholegrain cereals.
     Salt is replaced by aromatic herbs and spices, and red meat is replaced by white meat and seafood, except on rare occasions.

     Dairy products made from sheep and goat's milk are used instead.
     Finally, on the drinking side, we limit ourselves to water, teas, and herbal teas. The rest is no.

Samir Sali

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