My kind of diet

by Ally Harding, 5:00 AM
I don't know about you but I try to eat healthy. Do I eat as many salads as I should, no but I don't order a burger and loaded cheese fries every time I eat out either, I wish! I've tried a low carb diet for about a minute until I decide I need more one carb, you know for good luck, which turns into eating more carbs than I normally eat. I don't know what it is but the moment I tell myself no more sweets, or chips, or bread, I always end up doing the opposite of my plan and bingeing. I know not to buy sweets because I've learned from experience I have no self control and if you don't have it readily available to you, you can't eat it. I was watching one of those Giada De Laurentiis Destination shows, you know the ones that make you say "how does one get this job and where do I sign up?!" She was in Greece and talking about the Cretan diet. I heard the words "Cretans eat 3x more bread and olive oil than Americans and have no heart disease and live well into their 90's." This sparked my interest because I could seriously live off bread and olive oil. Plus I love Greek food so I decided to look more into this diet. 


 If you don't know, because I didn't, Crete is an island in the southeast of Greece in the eastern Mediterranean Sea. Cretans only eat what their land produces, so vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and olives, lots of olive oil.


 They eat more olive oil than any other Mediterranean people. They use it for everything. Even to make sweets and to pan fry. They must be doing something right because the people of Crete have the lowest cancer rates, heart disease and lowest death rate overall. 



I of course like to eat well for vanity reasons but also for the health aspects too. You can eat Weight Watchers meals all day long and be thin and trim but you are only putting chemicals in your body. I feel like if you eat a healthy diet the weight management part will fall into place on it's own.


Ok, so what do these super healthy long living people eat?!


1. Olive oil is used for pretty much everything. They doesn't use butter or any other type of oil, just olive oil. In fact, their fat intake makes up 45% of the total calories of the diet. We already know olive oil is great for your heart, your skin, and your overall health, but let's be real. It's got a lot of calories and fat and I know it's a good fat but even too much of a good thing is a bad thing. Have to remember these aren't your typical sedentary American's either.


2. Fruit instead of sweets. Cretan's typically don't eat processed foods so that would totally eliminate them from eating cookies or cake. Baklava is always a good idea though!



3. They eat 3x's the amount of bread as American's, I know how is that possible? But their bread is actual bread. Not overly processed white bread. Real whole wheat bread. 



4. The Greek love their wine and the Cretan's are no exception. They consume 1-2 glasses a day. Any diet that says wine is ok to drink is my kind of diet!

5. So where does most of their meals come from? Mostly plant sources such as vegetables, legumes, beans, nuts, seeds and whole grains.

6. Dairy is still consumed but in moderate amounts. Such as feta sprinkled on a salad or yogurt and honey for breakfast. One thing I love about their diet is they still eat what they want just don't overindulge.



7. Red meat is eaten 1-2 times a week but you have to think all the olive oil they're consuming it's probably cancelling out the saturated fat from red meat.

8. Cretan's eat a lot of chicken and fish. Eggs are eaten 4-5x's a week.

9. Deli meat or cured meats aren't eaten at all. 


I'm not going to go out and change my diet but I do think their diet isn't really changing your lifestyle drastically anyways. They're still eating normal things, aside from cookies and cupcakes, but just not too much of one thing. Aside from olive oil which is overly consumed. 



What are some diets that have worked or haven't worked for you? Would you ever consider the Cretan diet? You still get your wine and bread so what's to lose?!
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  1. Sounds like a good way of eating to me! I have taken a "clean" approach and just try and stay away from processed foods, more. And that way I don't feel deprived, because I am definitely like you in that as soon as I know I can't have something, I WANT IT ALL!

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  2. Yum! I'm all about clean and healthy eating. I need to now more than ever watch what I put in my body. I cook everything with olive oil. Vegetable oil grosses me out! I need to look into finding a bakery for "real" bread. I can't stand grocery store shelf bread. Gross. My body doesn't like it either....

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  3. I loved this post! It's so interesting looking at different diets and the corresponding health benefits. I like this diet because like Nichole said, it's 100% "clean" and focuses on real foods, not the chemicals used in processed foods. Plus the wine, the wine is a definite plus. Thanks for a great post to wake up to!

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  4. I could totally do the Cretan diet! And I fully believe it's healthy, we went to Greece for 10 days for vacation and thoroughly enjoyed the food {and wine} and I was shocked when I came home and had lost 5 pounds. Everything is SUPER fresh that they eat/serve, add in all the walking you do and it's a win, win. Their yogurt tastes nothing like our Greek yogurt and their bread is definitely fresher, almost lighter. and a bit bland but you add in some olive oil and it's delicious.

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  5. I saw that episode too! Such a beautiful place. Sounds like the perfect diet to me!!

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  6. YES! i watched that show too...it made me really miss greece and want to eat lots of feta! xo jillian - cornflake dreams

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  7. This is so interesting - I am glad you shared!

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  8. I just recently heard about this, it definitely makes sense. I've tried everything. What finally worked with me is lowering my carb intake, I just started buying low carb bread and tortillas and try to find things with the lowest amount. I definitely still eat them and indulge. I follow the 80/20 rule and it works great for us. We try and eat pretty healthy during the week and then indulge more on the weekends.

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  9. The Mediterranean diet is seriously one of the best ones out there because it's a lifestyle not a diet!! When I studied abroad in Rome it was very similar - they just live healthier lives, walking everywhere, eating fresh food not processed like you said - it's just all around better!! Glad you shared this today!!

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  10. I'm not a fan of crazy diets, so when I diet I just cut out carbs and sugars as much as I can. If can manage I'll also cut out alcohol, but that is pretty hard. I also cut down on portion size and then I try and up my exercise. As long as I feel good that is mostly what matters :)

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  11. I say adapt this as a lifestyle, not just as a diet. I definitely try to live this way already. I rarely eat processed foods, cook with lots of olive oil, eat Greek yogurt every morning, and eat mainly fish and vegetables...I almost never eat red meat. And I have fast food maybe once a month. One thing I could improve on though is the type of bread I'm eating. I always buy wheat bread at the store, but I think making my own would be way better. Maybe it's time to invest in a bread machine? I think my other failure is dairy queen trips...those happen way more often than they should!

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  12. I think something horribly wrong happened and I was born on Crete and somehow ended up in America. I want to live by this - and if done the right way - it sounds like it's a great lifestyle. Now pass the wine and bread :)

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  13. I'm not a fan of diets, more of "everything in moderation" but I have to say this sounds like a diet I could live off! Any of the mediterranean diets are right up my alley.. with all of the olive oil, fish, veggies.. I could do that!

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  14. George's dad is in his mid 70's, and healthy as a horse. He doesn't take any meds. He eats, bread, olive oil, greens, lemon juice, bread, and yogurt, almost no meat. Only on very special occasions. Same with George's Greek family, none of them need BP or cholesterol meds!

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  15. This is awesome! Wine, olive oil, and baklava! Some of my favorites! xo

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  16. Alright I know where I need to move! All of this made me so hungry - but wait....no pasta?

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  17. I need to move to Greece! This sounds like the most amazing diet ever!

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  18. I think the key here is that they only eat what is produced on their island...all natural!

    And yum...I could make meals off of wine, bread, and olive oil!

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