The Cretan diet is based on a healthy and balanced diet in order to prevent cardiovascular disorders that may occur due to poor nutrition.
What is a Cretan diet?
A Cretan diet is for people who want to take care of their health through a natural and balanced diet:
- olive oil for cooking and seasoning ;
- fruits and vegetables (fresh or dried) in season ;
- fish and white meat;
- Dairy products based on goat’s or sheep’s milk (cheese, yoghurt…);
- 1 to 2 glasses of wine per day.
This is not a diet specifically designed for weight loss. However, by modifying your diet and following a Cretan diet based on healthy products, you will decrease your daily calorie intake. This decrease in calories will lead to weight loss in a natural way.
Principles of the Cretan diet
The Cretan diet is based on 4 main principles:
- Increase the intake of fibre, minerals, vitamins and antioxidants by eating lots of fruits and vegetables and whole grains.
- Consume almost exclusively fats of vegetable origin (olive, rapeseed) and exclude fats of animal origin (butter, fresh cream, lard…).
- Favour fish, rich in omega 3, as opposed to meats rich in saturated fats that are harmful to health. Omega 3 contributes to good cardiovascular health and good blood fluidity.
- Know how to treat yourself reasonably: up to 2 glasses of red wine per day for its veinotonic virtues.
Benefits of the Cretan Diet
The Cretan diet has many advantages:
- consumption of fresh and healthy food ;
- very balanced and tasty diet ;
- no hunger or frustration;
- it helps to reduce cardiovascular risks (scientifically proven);
- it allows to lose weight durably if the person had a bad food hygiene;
- can be used for life.
On the other hand, adopting a Cretan diet reduces the levels of C-reactive protein (CRP) and isoprostane F2 by 30-60%, high levels of which lead to inflammation and oxidative stress, which are responsible for cellular aging and the risk of chronic diseases. In addition, eliminating pro-inflammatory foods and favouring a healthy diet, such as the Cretan diet, helps reduce the risk of depression.
Disadvantages of a Cretan diet
For people who want to lose weight and/or adopt a healthy and balanced diet, the Cretan diet may have some disadvantages:
- you have to like fruits and vegetables (cooked, fresh or dry);
- you have to motivate yourself to buy seasonal products;
- it is necessary to love the taste of olive oil and dairy products ;
- it is important to learn how to ration your portions without going overboard.
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