THE FOOD PYRAMID

THE PYRAMID OF THE MEDITERRANEAN DIET

In general, on Crete, every day the population ate dried and fresh fruits, vegetables, greens, wholemeal pastas, whole grains and wholemeal bread. Weekly, they would eat fish, fowl and eggs, and some type of sweet dessert. Red meats were eaten sporadically. Accompanying all this food, there was a glass of wine (tannins are excellent antioxidants), and the only fat: olive oil.

In becoming acquainted with the foods that form the Mediterranean Diet, it seems there is no novelty really. And we even admire the quality of the food on Crete as if, since the earliest times, we already knew the benefits.

The importance of Ansel Keys work lies in the fact he gave rise to a process of continuous public awareness of the direct link between diet and cardiovascular disturbances. And it is easy to imagine the controversies generated by this work in the early 70s, when issues related to body weight, low calories, cholesterol and healthy eating were not public concerns, not everyday topics on the media. At that time, weight loss was not recommended to prevent problems, rather diet was the route to cures. Indeed, in retrospect, it seems that, until the 70s, being fat was synonymous with health and opulence, and certainly the gymnasium was nothing more than a centre for weight-lifters.