The Cretan Diet has been inspired by the traditional foods of Crete, which is one lovely Greek isle. This diet is based on a regime rich in vegetables, fruits, grains, olive oil, some dairy products, fish, and seafood. Foods rich in saturated fats such as red meat, cold cuts, sunflower seed oil, and butter and rapidly digested sugars such as pastries, ice cream, and carbonated drinks should be avoided as much as possible.
Cretan dieters eat a lot of unsaturated fatty acids such as linoleic and alpha-linoleic acids that are thought to help prevent cardio-vascular incidents. It is recommended to eat fish two or three times a week. Wine has several positive properties that include reducing infection and being an antioxidant. So dieters are encouraged to enjoy a small glass of red wine with meals. Wine is recommended, it is not mandatory. They should get 25 to 30% of their calories from lipids, 55% from glucides, and 15% from proteins.
The Cretan Diet claims include reducing the possibility of some cancers, fighting against cardiovascular problems including high blood pressure, and slowing down the mental degeneration of the elderly. Among its advantages are the wide variety of permitted foods. Wine lovers will be happy about the Cretan Diet’s policy on wine. Some people feel that a disadvantage is the lack of meat.
Here are two sample menus:
Breakfast: Two slices of whole grain bread with honey. One unflavored yogurt. A pear. Tea or coffee.
Lunch: Tomato and feta cheese salad. Poached salmon. A small serving of white rice. Steamed spinach. A peach. A glass of red wine.
Supper: Cabbage salad. A vegetable and lentil waffle. Fresh figs. A glass of red wine.
Breakfast: A three-egg herb omelet. Two slices of whole grain bread, An orange. Tea or coffee.
Lunch: Cucumber and dill salad. Pesto pasta. A baked potato. A glass of red wine.
Supper: Endive and walnut salad. Scampi with vegetables. Cherries. A glass of red wine.
Some of the information in this article comes from a fascinating new book, La Bible des Regimes, written by Jenny de Jonquieres and published by Amerik Media. Her book describes more than 80 diets and weight reduction programs. Each diet is presented with 5 menu plans, a detailed discussion of its advantages and disadvantages, and lots more. At present La Bible des Regimes is only available in French. For more information consult the publisher’s website www.amerik-media.com.