The Cretan Diet is based on the Mediterranean Diet, and consists mainly of olive oil and fresh fruits and vegetables, eaten in season. Meat figures only occasionally – perhaps once a week – and it’s lean meat, grilled rather than fried. Fish and poultry figure regularly on the Cretan Diet. Eggs and dairy produce consumption is limited, and bread is plentiful – usually wholemeal.
As the name implies, the Cretan Diet originated on the Greek island of Crete. While the inhabitants of Crete eat more oil and bread in total than Americans, and other nations where obesity is a real problem, Cretan nationals are healthier and slimmer than most residents of other developed countries, and they also live longer. So how does the Cretan Diet work?
Naturally limits calories
Despite the presence of lots of olive oil and bread, the Cretan Diet limits calories because it consists mainly of fruit and vegetables, with high calorie foods such as cheese, dairy products and meats are eaten only occasionally, and cooked without added fat. Eggs are limited to four per week, meals are rounded off with fresh fruit rather than sugar-laden desserts, and red meat is eaten only around once a week, and then it’s lean and grilled.
Alcohol consumption is moderate, so there are no empty calories to scupper your weight loss plan. Much of the protein comes from beans and pulses served with vegetables, which are both low fat and filling, so it’s much easier to eat healthily and lose weight if necessary.
No processed foods
Like the Mediterranean Diet, the Cretan Diet relies on fresh, in season produce. Processed foods don’t come into the equation, so there are no hidden fats and calories to worry about. The Cretan Diet is also very light on pastry, and other fat and calorie-laden products, and junk food is completely off the menu.
Full of vitamins and nutrients
Because the Cretan Diet consists of fresh, seasonal produce, which is either lightly cooked or raw, all the nutrients that should be present in the foods make their way into your digestive system. The food hasn’t travelled half way around the world, or been processed to within an inch of it’s life, so your body reaps the benefits of full nutrition. Food on the Cretan Diet does what it says on the tin, so you should feel healthy and energised.
Moderate alcohol consumption
Alcohol is allowed on the Cretan Diet, but not in industrial quantities. The emphasis is on red wine and raki, with no calorie-laden beers or soft drinks.
The Cretan Diet works because it naturally limits calorie intake, while providing a healthy, varied diet, from which your body can obtain everything it needs for optimal health. If you need to lose weight, you’ll lose it on the Cretan Diet, and the small amount of alcohol is a great stress-buster, so you should be happy and healthy. Everything in moderation seems to be the credo of the Cretan Diet, which is why it’s a healthy eating plan to follow for life. Find out more, and try out the delicious recipes, here.