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Advantages of the Cretan Diet

The results of research conducted in 7 countries revealing the advantages of the Cretan diet and explaining the longevity of Cretans were presented in a meeting organized by the Municipality Minoa Pediada entitled “ The Cretan Diet”, under the patronage of the Cretan Agricultural-Commercial Fair of Arkalochori.
The research was presented by dietitian and member of the special teaching-research staff of the University of Crete Gianna Apostolaki. The research, still is progress, was begun in 1960 by Dr. Ancel Keys, a cardiologist from Minesota, in order to examine the relation between diet and cardiovascular diseases.

13.000 men, aged 40-59 years, from Finland, the Netherlands, Japan, the USA, Greece (Crete and Corfu), Italy and Yugoslavia participated in the research project.
31 years later, in 1991, the Social Medicine Department of the University of Crete, with Professor Antonis Kafatos in charge, reexamined the participants and discovered that 50% of the Cretans who participated in the research were still alive, while in Finland all participants had died. Today, in Crete, 30 of these people are still alive.  After comparing the populations, the researchers discovered that the Cretans were healthier and enjoyed a lower mortality rate caused by coronary heart diseases and cancer in comparison with the rest of the people.
This research underlines the importance of olive oil, while the general diet habits of the Cretans (many vegetables, greens, snails, pulses, fruits, milk products, small quantity of meat) as well as the preparation of simple meals, were also taken into consideration.
In addition, during the meeting, agriculturist and researcher Konstantinos Oikonomakis and Zaharias Kypriotakis, professor of the Technological Educational Institute(TEI) of Crete, spoke about topics related to the value of herbs and greens of Crete. Moreover, the professor of TEI of Crete Eleni Goumenaki referred to climate change in relation toagriculture.
Those who attended the meeting concerning the Cretan diet had the chance to taste local Cretan food prepared by the Residential Care Facilities For the Elder of the Municipality Minoa Pediada.

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