Olive Oil: Benefits and Importance in the Cretan Diet

Described as “liquid gold” by the epic poet Homer and “the great healer” by the father of medicine, Hippocrates, olive oil is the one irreplaceable nutritional element of the world-famous Cretan diet. Since antiquity, Crete’s chief product of consumption and export is inextricably linked to health and longevity.

Since the first olive trees were planted on Crete almost 4,000 years ago, olives and the oil derived from them have graced the tables of Greece and the world. On Crete, the purity of the extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) is the stuff of legend reaching a peak of from 80 – 90% purity in some cases. Known for its low acidity and peroxides, Cretan EVOO is arguably the most sought-after olive oil in the world. The unique characteristics of the island’s most famous product are well known, but the health benefits are sometimes underpublicized.

For Cretan olive production, the intense sun, the crystal seas, the mountainous terrain, and the soil characteristics combine to create an extraordinary ecosystem for growing olives. All these factors and production variables play a vital role in the production of olive oils of the highest quality – and the best olives in the world fuel the healthiest diet on Earth as well.

One of the biggest advantages of Cretan EVOO is that it is stocked with monounsaturated fat, which is a super powerful contributor to a healthy lifestyle. The type of fat in Cretan olive oil actually helps rid the body of bad fats, and aids in controlling your LDL cholesterol levels. In addition, Cretan EVOO has been shown to possess strong anti-cancer qualities, not to mention anti-inflammatory characteristics. EVOO is also full of antioxidants, Vitamin E being the most prevalent anti-cancer constituent
In addition, studies have shown that frequent extra virgin olive oil consumption can aid in reducing blood pressure, arthritis and other inflammatory ailments, and the incidence of diabetes, osteoporosis, and other health issues.

The benefits of Cretan EVOO are unrivaled, and ongoing research reveals more advantages day by day. Scientists are just beginning to understand the countless ways in which this “liquid gold” helps us improve our health and our lives. On top of all the health attributes, we get to enjoy the amazing flavors of the oil too. Consider an olive-oil tasting tour when you vacation on our island. You can also ask our serving staff to talk to you about the olive oils we use in our kitchen and serve.

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