Sunday, August 3, 2008

Monks On Spartan Diet Super Healthy

During our two-month long trip to Greece this summer, we were shocked at the diets of modern Greeks. In Athens, where nearly half the Greek population lives, people eat far too much greasy, fatty, low-quality junk food, and rich pastries far too often. Many Greeks smoke heavily.

In the past week, reports have surfaced that even as the "Mediterranean Diet" remains trendy among American yuppies, people in the actual Mediterranean are abandoning it. And that's why rampant obesity, cardiovasular disease, strokes, diabetes and more is ruining and shortening their lives.

But not everywhere. Greeks on the male-only religious community of Mount Athos eat a diet very close to the Spartan Diet. According to Reuters:
"The monks also observe a high number of fast days each year. They seldom eat meat and they cultivate their own wines, fruit and vegetables."
In other words, they're not eating industrialized foods, and they eat wild fish and octopus, and never domesticated animal meat.

The result? According to another report:
"Despite their average venerable age, the 2,000 monks living in 20 ancient monasteries have virtually no heart disease, no cardiac arrests and no strokes, a zero-incidence of Alzheimer’s disease which astonished the researchers conducting the various studies, and unusually low rates of cancer, which in the case of prostate cancer is 4 times lower than the international average. The latter finding is even more remarkable when you know that the monks in that particular investigation were aged between 50 and 104. Their rates of lung, bowel and bladder cancer are zero."
As good as it is, it's likely that the Monk's diet isn't quite as healthy as the Spartan Diet. For example, they're not getting a wide variety of nutritous superfoods from around the world. Their breakfast consists of hard bread and tea, rather than a typical Spartan Diet breakfast of whole grain cereal and fruit. They do eat some dairy from domesticated animals. In other words, Monks on Mount Athos are among the healthiest people on earth, but you can be even healthier by getting on the Spartan Diet.

The main cancer monks get is prostate cancer. Studies have shown that frequent sex is necessary to reduce prostate cancer, so this could explain why of all cancers, this is the one they get.

The monks on Mount Athos prove that a long, healthy, disease-free life results from:
1. Fasting and calorie restriction
2. Eating a diet consisting primarily of plant foods
3. Avoiding all industrialized foods
4. Avoiding domesticated animal meat, and
5. Getting plenty of exercise and sunshine
But you don't have to live like a monk to get all these benefits. Just get on the Spartan Diet.