Greek diet is associated with a healthy diet based primarily on a large amount of vegetables and fruits. The health benefits of its use have been the subject of many scientific studies, which confirm the very beneficial effect of the components consumed in this diet on general health. It might seem, therefore, that the Greeks are a very healthy nation in that case. Nothing could be more wrong because in recent years many of them have fundamentally changed their eating habits and behaviors . This note applies especially to Greeks living in large urban centers. These changes clearly show the latest results of statistical surveys recently published by Eurostat.
They show that Greek citizens consume fruit and vegetables not only less than other Mediterranean ones, but even less than the European average. On average, about 64% of the community's citizens declare that they eat a portion of vegetables at least once a day. In Greece, however, the percentage of such people reaches only 60%. This is a paradoxical result, because in a country where these products are available throughout the year, the share of vegetables and fruit in the daily diet should be at the top of the food pyramid. It is for this reason that in Greece the results of these tests were perceived as a "blow to the stomach".
For comparison, data published by Eurostat show that among Europeans who declare intake of vegetables at least once a day, the best are the Irish and Belgians (84%), Italians (80%), Portuguese (78%) and the inhabitants of Luxemburg (74%). It is striking that no less high vegetable consumption is maintained in such countries as Sweden (72%) or Finland (67%). In the case of both countries, this means much higher costs for their residents for daily meals.
Below the European average there are also Poles, Danes, Dutch, Austrians, Germans, Croats and Slovaks. In terms of vegetable consumption, the Bulgarian, Lithuanian, Latvians, Romanians and Hungarians are in the very tail of the ranking of countries. In the latter country, only 30% of inhabitants declare that they consume vegetables at least once a day.
These statistical data also reflect a change in the way of life. Once on Crete, people passed at least 10 km a day, now the average is only about 1 kilometer. In the past, during the whole year, only on special occasions, there were single days during which 4 full meals were consumed. Today such a feast happens to the Greeks many times, even about four times a week.
Therefore, it should not come as a surprise that the Cretans have become "masters" in childhood obesity, with all its side effects, e.g. juvenile diabetes. A society pays health for a dramatic change in eating habits and the way of life.
Eurostat data also confirms the opinion of Nikos Katsaros, former chairman of the Unified Food Control Agency . This well-known Greek scientist indicates that it is time for the state to take responsibility for the health of citizens and to initiate initiatives to improve it.
The reversal of this disappointing trend should become a priority for the current government. It is necessary not only to coordinate efforts and focus activities in schools, but also to focus their attention on parents who should be trained in the benefits of using a healthy diet.
According to Katsari, Greece should be in the top three European countries where the consumption of vegetables and fruits is the highest . This is all the more important due to the fact that Greece is a country which is after all a peculiar homeland of the Mediterranean diet, which is considered by many dieticians to be very healthy.
Tomatoes are one of the extremely popular ingredients found in the daily diet of the Greeks. They are rich in vitamin C and lycopene - an antioxidant that contributes to good health. Research shows that tomatoes have phenomenal cancer protection capabilities.
Coming back from a holiday in Crete, we bring with us a tan, many pictures and a bag of beautiful memories connected with visiting this charming corner of Greece. However, holidays in Crete are not only breathtaking landscapes, sun or monuments, but also a feast for the palate. Greeks know how to appreciate the multitude of fresh vegetables and fruits, which is why even the simplest dish tastes great there. Greek cuisine shows that very little food would have to be made from simple ingredients. It is also worth remembering that in many scientific studies the local diet has been recognized as one of the healthiest and most sustainable in the world. Greek cuisine can make eating vegetables a pleasure. One thing is for sure, our taste buds were probably born in Crete, because the local cuisine won over our hearts or stomachs.
When browsing the stalls with local products in Crete, you will certainly find Malotira, the so-called. Moutain Tea. This popular plant known under the Latin name sideritis syriaca grows wild in the mountainous areas of Crete in the Lefka Ori massif, thanks to which it is devoid of pollution. Malotira is one of many species of gentile, which is popular in the Mediterranean, the Balkans and the Middle East. Sideritis syriaca is a variation occurring only on Crete, and the specific smell of this dried plant and the flavor of the infusion are irresistibly associated with this island.