The features of the Cretan Diet
At the core of the traditional Cretan Diet of the 1960's lie
mainly plant resources, while food from animal sources was rarely
consumed, excepting in various festivities.
In broad terms the Cretan diet includes in-season foodstuff of
no or very little processing. Fresh and dried fruit, legumes,
vegetables, endemic wild plants, aromatic herbs, and non-processed
cereals were consumed in abundance and considered the basis of the
Cretan diet in that period.
Dairy products in low to moderate quantities were consumed
daily. Poultry and fished were consumed in moderate quantities on a
weekly basis, while red meat only a few times a month. Olive oil
was the basic source of fat and was used to dress salads and in the
preparation of food, whereas in Northern Europe animal fat was
One more basic characteristic of the Cretan diet in the 1960's
was the moderate consumption of alcohol, mainly red wine which
Finally, fresh fruits were the daily desert, while traditional
sweets made from honey were consumed just few days during the week
(Willett et al., 1995; Kromhout et al., 1989; Simopoulos 2001).