Cretan Diet: its Amazing Benefits

28th October 2019
If you thought that concerns over diet and health are something modern, think again! We present you with information about the Cretan diet, one of the oldest diets still followed today.

Whether to assist with a health problem or simply as a way of enjoying its benefits, we can use existing dietary models tested by professionals. The Cretan diet is one of them, and this article will delve into its main characteristics.

The Cretan diet: nutrition and Greek culture

Ancient Greek culture has taught us a lot. These lessons are applied today to lead an integral and healthy life, both physically and mentally. Among them, we have a food structure called the Cretan diet, which today is reflected in what we know as the Mediterranean diet.

It isn’t clear if brave warriors of the times such as Achilles or Atalanta were real or mythological beings. However, their stories have inspired many of us to take a path linked to the cult of the body and its corresponding well-being.

Within the fundamental aspects of our physical care, we must pay special attention to nutrition. From the Greeks, we learned the dietary basis to achieve, along with proper training, a healthy life.

Origin and basis of the Cretan diet

In Greece, there’s an island called Crete, and its natural environment provides citizens with a series of magnificent foods. These help them control optimal levels of nutrients and achieve a quality body composition. These foods, optimally cooked, reward their consumers with high-value food resources.

Mainly, the Cretan eating plan consists of fruits, vegetables, legumes, cereals, meat, and fish. Of course, they also complement these foods with dairy products and olive oil, all in adequate proportions.

These ingredients are also included in beneficial menus and currently valued within the world cuisine. Of course, a key factor is the dressing of dishes with aromatic plants full of nutritional properties.

If you want to lose weight eat legumes.

Examples of food withing Cretan culture

Within this food structure, we can find recipes such as a salad with nuts accompanied by white fish, whole wheat bread and an apple. Another option is grilled salmon with legumes, added to a dairy product. We also have poultry with tomatoes, seasoned with aromatic herbs and pears, among other examples.

Within the Cretan diet, wine is obviously included. This, as long as it’s a measured consumption, doesn’t have to cause health problems. This is especially true if the wine belongs to a natural crop without chemical additives.

The structure of the Cretan diet is very similar to the Mediterranean diet, with only slight variations in their proportions. Still, the goal is practically the same: health. Of course, this diet should be accompanied by a minimum of daily physical activity and enough hours of sleep.

Benefits of the Cretan diet

The benefits of the Cretan diet are mainly related to the cardiovascular aspect, lessening the risk of cardiovascular disease. Because of this, we can highlight its benefits regarding the following health problems:

High blood pressure

The Cretan diet has very positive effects in cases of overweight. By applying it, due to its almost imperceptible cholesterol levels, we gradually reduce body fat levels.

Cerebrovascular accident

These systemic failures could cause death. As we can see, neglecting what we eat necessarily leads to progressive degeneration of our nervous system. Opting for the natural foods suggested by this regime is more than convenient.

The Cretan diet helps to reduce the risk of arrhythmias

One of the problems that cause arrhythmias is the obstruction in the arteries of the heart. Often, obesity and the consumption of unhealthy foods generate these obstructions. To reduce these cardiovascular risks, the following aspects must be met:

  • Reduce saturated fat intake
  • Preferably use vegetable oils
  • Eat vegetables, fruits and skim milk
  • Do not abuse salt or refined sugar
  • Avoid tobacco, alcohol, and other substances
Fruits, vegetables and nuts are excellent sources of slow-absorbing dietary carbohydrates.

Other advantages of the Cretan diet

Beyond being good for cardiovascular health, we can also add the following benefits of the Cretan diet:

Metabolism improvement

The antioxidant components of these foods help release free radicals and, as a consequence, metabolism improvement occurs.

Strengthens the immune system

In the face of possible diseases caused by environmental factors, you have to try and have the strongest immune system possible. With a healthy diet, a defense barrier is created to help us fight viruses or bacteria from the external environment.

The Cretan diet, almost a guarantee of longevity

This type of food has proved to help people live longer lives. Therefore, in certain Greek islands where the explained diet or its variants are still applied, the average age of its inhabitants exceeds the rest of the European countries by 10 years.

Promotes weight loss

By leaving aside the current diets, with their excess of saturated fats and sugars, you can easily achieve adequate fat levels.

It balances the nervous system

The nutrients contained in these foods have a neuroprotective mechanism in the brain, which could help us in the prevention of mental illness in old age.

It could prevent certain cancers

In Crete, it wasn’t common to fry food. In this way, the consumption of ‘acrylamides’ is almost zero. The ‘acrylamides’ are negative chemicals for the body, a by-product of frying. Several studies report that acrylamides are probably partially responsible for the development of tumors.

Salad with meat.

The past clarifies many answers

Having reviewed all this, we can conclude that modern diets do not always have high health benefits. Sometimes it’s necessary to return to tradition, which has proven to be very beneficial for health.

The levels of childhood obesity in the world are overwhelming, caused by the excessive consumption of inadequate foods. Another reason for many health problems is leading a sedentary lifestyle. Therefore, we have to apply common sense when eating and, if possible, redirect some of our nutritional habits.

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