Where do Mediterranean people live

Because people have adapted to the diet of their ancestors over the centuries, a sudden switch to modern, supposedly healthy foreign diets does not necessarily make sense, emphasizes the nutritionist, who also teaches at the University of Hohenheim. This applies, for example, to the "Mediterranean diet", which is praised in countless guidebooks. A lot of olive oil, herbs and Mediterranean vegetables should therefore prolong life. "The reason for the Mediterranean movement was the 1952 Crete study," complains Ute Gola. For this, people were observed in seven different places around the world. The conclusion: The Cretans lived the longest and healthiest. The study was outrageous, says Gola. "This is how a Greek village was compared to a railroad settlement in the United States," she says. "At that time there wasn't a single tractor on Crete." Rather, the Cretans lived in large families, worked a lot and regularly ate meals together. "That was just a particularly species-appropriate way of life," says Gola. In Western Europe and the USA, on the other hand, people at that time favored canned foods: "Industrially processed food was considered extremely chic in the 1950s."

One pleasure, the other health risk?

The long life of the Mediterranean population does not mean that the average German would be better off if he lived like a Cretan farmer. In fact, Antonia Trichopoulou from the University of Athens found that a Mediterranean diet like in the 1950s allows Greek seniors, but not Germans and Dutch, to live longer. The Greek epidemiologist found out that mortality in Germany even increases slightly due to a Mediterranean diet after evaluating the eating habits of almost 75,000 older Europeans. Presumably the organism of the Central Europeans is less used to the Mediterranean ingredients and cannot utilize them as well. Instead, the amounts of olive oil could actually weigh him down. Because original Cretan dishes are swimming in oil: every Cretan consumes 31 kilograms of it on an annual average.