The Seven Countries Study

The Seven Countries Study was conceived by Ancel Keys in the late 1950s, included seven countries (Italy, former Yugoslavia, the Netherlands, the USA, Greece, Finland, and Japan), and involved 13,000 people aged 40-59 for over 15 years. Its findings greatly impressed the international scientific community, since Keys proved that Cretans who consumed excessive amounts of olive oil were the healthiest people on the planet. The population of Crete was found to enjoy the lowest mortality and greatest longevity rates, and the island was declared to occupy first place in terms of longevity and the health of its residents, considering both cardiovascular and malignant diseases. Scientists, in their attempt to discover the reason behind this phenomenon, concluded that it was in fact the olive oil and its daily consumption that provided Cretans with these benefits.