The Secret of Cretan Longevity

Anzel Keys’ renowned study of seven countries, which was published in 1980, revealed that the health level of Cretans was the highest in the world.

Cancers and cardio-circulatory disease were rare, since out of 100.000 people on Crete, there were only 9 deaths attributed to these diseases as opposed to 466 in Finland.

It was further proven that this was largely due to the dietary habits of the Cretan, people, whose basic ingredient is olive oil.

THE PRODUCTS

For Cretans, the secret of longevity is very simple. They eat anything that their rich soil produces! They consume a lot of fruit, vegetables, greens, fresh produce, legumes, cheese and bread.

Cretans use herbs to add flavour to their meals, they make sweets cakes with natural sweeteners, honey and grape-juice syrup.

Cretans do not eat meat or, rather, they did not eat meat until a few decades ago. Meat has always had a ritual quality in Crete, and generally in Greece. In antiquity, Cretans consumed only the meat offered to the gods on the altar of sacrifice.

In modern times, they consumed meat only a few times a year, i.e. during festivities or, if wealthy enough, every Sunday. In other words, the dietary code of Cretans has deep cultural and historical roots

Fresh products grown under the most suitable climatic conditions have a prominent place on dinner tables. Cretans do not require doctor’s orders to consume large amounts of fruit and vegetables. Grapes, raisins, oranges, etc. are a way of life.

Even on days strictly associated with meat-eating, such as the Easter Day, Cretans do not eat only meat. On the contrary, they cook meat with artichokes, wild greens or vegetables a delicious choice!

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