RFF#1 – When it comes to healthy eating, Plato had it all figured out 2000 years ago

That’s right, according to Plato “there ought to be no other secondary task to hinder the work of supplying the body with its proper exercise and nourishment”.

If you’re confused about the never-ending debate over what’s healthy and what isn’t, the commonsense teachings of Plato reaffirm that a healthy diet includes:

-cereals (like wheat and barely)
-legumes (such as chickpeas, which according to Plato were most tasty when stirred with a golden or fig wood ladle)
-fruits
-milk
-honey
-fish
-water

While Plato cites olive oil as being helpful, it seems the ancient Greeks were more interested in putting it on their skin, as opposed to actually eating it. Furthermore, as would be expected, Plato warned against excessive drinking, and confectionaries (which in his day consisted of pastries and pancakes with grape syrup), describing these foods as being harmful to the body.

All in all, Plato emphasized that despite our limitless desire for food and drink, self-restraint is essential for healthy living.

I learned about this fact from: Skiadas PK and Lascaratos JG. Dietetics in ancient Greek philosophy: Plato’s concepts of healthy diet. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2001;55:532-537.

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