Global as well as Greek studies highlight and demonstrate the importance of the so-called “Mediterranean” diet (basically the Cretan diet) for our physical and mental health.
Characterized by the eating habits of the Cretans in the early 1960s, habits that go back to early Cretan civilization, the diet is renowned for its beneficial properties as it prevents heart attacks and various forms of cancer, is low in calories , stimulates the body and helps the proper functioning of the intestine.
The Cretan diet is becoming popular worldwide as numerous studies show that residents of Mediterranean regions live longer and suffer from cancer, breast or heart disease less frequently than Americans and residents of northern European countries.
The menu is quite simple: vegetables, fruits, legumes, pure cheese, baked black bread, raw olive oil, nuts, a little homemade wine and fish!
These basic characteristics of the Mediterranean diet (high consumption of fruits, vegetables and unsaturated fat), protect, among others, the skin from the signs of aging and wrinkles.
Combined with daily physical activity (eg walking, dancing, etc.) the Mediterranean diet menu is a recipe for longevity, health and beauty.
The features are as follows:
- Abundance of plant food such as fruits, vegetables, potatoes, cereals and legumes.
- Olive oil as a base oil, replacing all other fats and oils such as butter, margarine, etc..
- Daily consumption small quantities of dairy products like cheese and yogurt.
- Fish and poultry consumption weekly (not daily).
- Eggs at most up to 4 week (note that in this figure including those used in cooking).
- Sugar consumption (which of course is sweet) weekly (not daily).
- “Red” meat (beef, pork, etc.) Only a few times a month.
- Physical activity (walking, movement in general) to the level that maintains the feel of everyday health and wellness.
- Reasonable consumption of wine (usually with meals 1-2 glasses of wine)
The main characteristics are illustrated schematically with the corresponding Nutrition Pyramid. It is a graphical representation of the amounts of the various components of the diet in the form of a pyramid.