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The cretan diet   teacher's
The cretan diet   teacher's
The cretan diet   teacher's
The cretan diet   teacher's
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The cretan diet teacher's

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  • 1. Week Theme: Social Cultural Practices Skill: 4.2 Identifying registers 4.3 Identifying controlling idea / intended message. 5.2 Describing states & processes 5.5 Classifying information Topic: The Cretan Diet – A 4,000 – year – old Recipe for Longevity? Teacher’s Worksheet Pre Reading 1. Is there any relation between culture, food and longevity? 2. Write the word ‘longevity’ on the white board and ask the students to guess the meaning of the word. 3. Teacher explains the meaning. The Cretan Diet – A 4,000 – year – old Recipe for Longevity? In the 1950s, an American nutritionist named Ansel Keys noticed that men on the island of Crete seemed to live longer and suffer less from heart disease and cancer than their European counterparts. In order to prove his observations, Keys carried out a 15-year- long comparative study involving seven different countries. The ‘Seven-Country Study’, as it came to be known, confirmed Keys’ suspicions and following his conclusive findings, the eyes of the scientific community turned to Crete. Nutritionists and scientists started to look into the Cretan Diet to find clues as to what made the Cretans so much healthier and how it could be applied to benefit the rest of the world. The legend of the ‘Cretan Diet” as the key to longevity was born. But where is this island where it all started? What exactly is the Cretan Diet? What are the benefits? And most importantly, does it really work? Crete is the fifth largest island in the Mediterranean Sea and the most southerly point of Greece. Postcard perfect, it seems to have it all: golden sandy beaches, crystal clear waters, and perfect blue skies which intensify the whiteness of the traditional Cretan houses. It also has fruit orchards and olive groves, and mountains gorges. Its people rely on farming and fishing, and its wonderfully temperate climate is ideal for both. Crete has managed to retain its slow-paced rural life, which gives visitors a taste of what life might have been during the Minoan times. Crete has not only been blessed with stunning landscapes but it is also the site of Europe’s oldest civilisation. Since Minoan times, Cretans have relied on the soil and the sea for their food. The Cretan Diet is therefore primarily based on fruits and vegetables. People in Crete often own a vegetable patch where they grow cucumbers, tomatoes, aubergines, potatoes and… the list is endless. Legumes such as peas and lentils are commonly used fresh or dried. All kinds of delicious fruit such as cherries, watermelons and grapes grow effortlessly and abundantly in Crete. Nuts and dried fruits are often used as snacks or in cooking. Cereals and grains also feature prominently on the Cretan menu with bread present at every meal. Another important feature of the Cretan Diet is that ‘saturated fats’ such as the ones found in butter, cheese, ghee and coconut milk, are nearly absent from the diet. Mountains are not ideal for raising cows and therefore, cow milk is rarely used. Instead, dairy products such as cheese and yoghurt are made from goat milk, a much healthier option. Fish, seafood and chicken are consumed regularly, and red meat only on rare occasions. It is interesting to note here that the average daily consumption of meat in the United NI KMPP 08/09
  • 2. Week Theme: Social Cultural Practices Skill: 4.2 Identifying registers 4.3 Identifying controlling idea / intended message. 5.2 Describing states & processes 5.5 Classifying information Topic: The Cretan Diet – A 4,000 – year – old Recipe for Longevity? Teacher’s Worksheet States is 273g per person while it is a mere 35g in Crete. Honey is a long-standing fixture of the diet and goes back to Minoan times, and so does wine, which is consumed in moderation and is said to contribute to the health benefits of the diet. Last but foremost is one of the most well-known features of the Cretan Diet – the olive oil. That oh-so-precious liquid, which was traded as a luxury good by the Minoans, is used in every step of Cretan cooking. It is the quintessential Cretan ingredient, and it has always been praised for its health properties. So the Cretan Diet is simple and straightforward, but does it really work? When you meander along the winding roads of inland Crete, you come across ancient-looking men on their way to inspect their wrinkles and age under the hot Cretan sun. Meanwhile, in town, old women dressed in black sit on chairs in front of their dazzling white houses and gossip with their neighbours, full of life and energy. So yes, there are many healthy- looking old people around and is therefore not too surprising that Keys would have noticed this too. But observation in itself is no proof and Keys’ survey was the first of many to demonstrate the health benefits of the Cretan Diet. Keys and his colleagues looked at Crete and Corfu (as their benchmark for Greece), Italy, Yugoslavia, the Netherlands, Finland, the United States and Japan. They compared statistics collected over 15 years and found that all, with the exception of Japan which compared relatively well, showed much higher levels of heart disease and forms of cancer in their population than that in Greece. This was enough to stir the interest of the scientific community. What started as a Crete-specific study gave rise to wider interest in the eating habits of the Mediterranean people as a whole. Features common to all of the Mediterranean countries were identified and the term ‘Mediterranean Diet” came to be used to describe a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains, and unsaturated fats such as olive oil, and low on saturated fat red meat and dairy products. Since then, there have been countless studies on the link between a Mediterranean-style diet and health, which have shown time and time again that such a diet could reduce the risk of heart disease, bowel cancer and other forms of cancer. One such study, published in the British Medical Journal in 2004, concluded that when subjects, all aged 60 and above, switched to a Mediterranean diet, their life was extended by up to 14%. Another study showed that the Asian population living in developed countries, which is at risk of Coronary Artery Disease (CAD), benefited greatly by switching to a Mediterranean – style diet which was just as effective as drug treatment. But the benefits of the Cretan Diet don’t stop at heart disease and cancer. A recent US study has shown that it can also help against dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. It’s never too late to start a healthy lifestyle and if you’re still not convinced, just go to Crete and look into the eyes of one of these proud old Cretan women. By Vinca Eppendahl Adapted from Just English. NI KMPP 08/09
  • 3. Week Theme: Social Cultural Practices Skill: 4.2 Identifying registers 4.3 Identifying controlling idea / intended message. 5.2 Describing states & processes 5.5 Classifying information Topic: The Cretan Diet – A 4,000 – year – old Recipe for Longevity? Teacher’s Worksheet While Reading Task A Read the passage silently. Find the meanings of the highlighted words with the help of a dictionary. 1. Nutritionist: Someone who has a special knowledge of nutrition. 2. Suspicions: A notion or vague idea about something. 3. Longevity: The amount of time that someone or something lives. 4. Temperate: A type of weather or a part of the world that is never hot or very cold. 5. Civilisation: A society that is well organized and developed, used especially about a particular place or a particular time. 6. Legume: A plant such as a bean plant that has seeds in a pod. 7. Saturated fat: A type of fat from meat and milk products that is thought to be less healthy than other kinds of fat from vegetables or fish. 8. Meander: If a river, stream, road etc, it has a lot of bends. 9. Dementia: An illness that affects the brain and memory, and makes you gradually lose the ability to think and behave normally. 10. Alzheimer’s disease: A disease that affects the brain, especially of old people, and that gradually makes it difficult to move, talk, or remember things. Task B Answer the questions below. 1. Where is Crete Island? Crete is the fifth largest island in Mediterranean Sea and the most southerly point of Greece. 2. Who found out that men on the island of Crete lived longer than their European counterparts? Ansel Keys an American nutritionist. 3. What do the people of Crete Island do for living? They rely on farming and fishing. 4. What food groups make up the Cretan diet? The Cretan Diet is primarily based on fruits and vegetables. 5. Name two types of ‘saturated fats’. i: daily products such as butter, cheese ii: read meat such as meat from cows. 6. What is one of the most – known features of the Cretan diet? The olive oil. NI KMPP 08/09
  • 4. Week Theme: Social Cultural Practices Skill: 4.2 Identifying registers 4.3 Identifying controlling idea / intended message. 5.2 Describing states & processes 5.5 Classifying information Topic: The Cretan Diet – A 4,000 – year – old Recipe for Longevity? Teacher’s Worksheet Post Reading Task C Work in groups of four; look for one traditional custom that is practiced by different races in Malaysia and write a report explaining the custom in not more than 200 words. Example: The Malays practice very strict diet during confinement. Teacher explains in detail if needbe. NI KMPP 08/09

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