Nutritional Habits in Ancient Greece

ancient Greek cuisineA recent survey has shown that Greece is among the top 20 countries in the field of nutrition as the contemporary Greek cuisine combines many flavors and benefits health. But what were the nutritional habits in ancient Greece?

The Ancient Greek diet was largely based on products that could be easily cultivated in the country’s landscape. Bread and wine were the basic elements of their diet. Breakfast was eaten before sunrise and consisted of bread dipped into wine. Lunch also included bread and wine with figs, olives or dried fish. The main meal of the day was supper that included vegetables, fruits, fish, and honey cakes. Honey was used as a sweetener, as at the time, sugar was still unknown in Greece.

Wine was the main drink of ancient Greeks and was mixed with water. They avoided drinking milk as it was considered barbaric. Milk was used in the production of the cheese.

Meat was very expensive and a sign of wealth. It was only available to poor people during religious festivals, when cows or pigs were sacrificed to the gods, and their meat was cooked and handed out to the public. The main source of protein was the fish.

Seeing as the ancient Greek’s had not yet developed eating utensils, they ate with their hands. Bread was often used as a napkin to clean their hands after the meal.


  1. The main source of protein was also wild game animals, nuts like almonds walnuts and chestnuts and beans such as fava and lentil as fish did not transport well into the interior mountainous regions. The primary saturated fat was olive oil.

  2. Hmm, I wonder about spices or the use of onions and garlic for flavor?
    Or the biggest question on my mind: How did anyone discover how to prepare and eat capers?