Which Ancient Civilization Had the Best Diet?

When it comes to the topic of ancient civilizations, one cannot help but wonder about their diets. After all, food is a fundamental aspect of human life, and the type of food one consumes can have a significant impact on their health and wellbeing. In this article, we will explore which ancient civilization had the best diet.

The Mediterranean Diet

The Mediterranean diet is often touted as one of the healthiest diets in the world. This diet originated in ancient Greece and Rome and was based on a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, fish, and olive oil. This diet was also low in red meat and processed foods.

The Mediterranean diet has been associated with several health benefits such as reduced risk of heart disease, stroke, and some forms of cancer. It is believed that this diet’s emphasis on plant-based foods and healthy fats such as olive oil contributes to these health benefits.

The Japanese Diet

The Japanese diet is another ancient way of eating that has gained popularity worldwide for its numerous health benefits. This diet consists mainly of fresh fish, seafood, rice, vegetables, and soy products such as tofu.

Studies have shown that the Japanese diet may help reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and several forms of cancer. The high consumption of fish in this diet is believed to contribute to these health benefits due to its high omega-3 content.

The Egyptian Diet

The ancient Egyptian civilization had a predominantly plant-based diet that consisted mainly of bread made from wheat or barley and vegetables such as onions, leeks, garlics, cucumbers and lettuce.

While their diets were low in meat consumption compared to other civilizations during that time period; they did consume poultry such as ducks or geese on special occasions. Their reliance on grains such as wheat provided them with fiber which helped regulate digestion.

The Incan Diet

The Incan civilization, which was based in South America, had a diet that consisted mainly of potatoes, maize, and quinoa. These staple foods were often supplemented with other plant-based foods such as beans, peppers, and tomatoes.

The Incan diet was low in fat but high in carbohydrates and protein. The consumption of potatoes and quinoa provided them with essential amino acids that their bodies needed to function correctly.


In conclusion, each ancient civilization had its unique diet based on the availability of food in their respective regions. While the Mediterranean and Japanese diets are considered among the healthiest diets due to their emphasis on plant-based foods and healthy fats; the Egyptian and Incan diets were also nutrient-dense and provided their respective civilizations with the necessary sustenance to thrive.

Ultimately it is up to individuals to choose a diet that suits their personal preferences and dietary restrictions. However, incorporating elements from these ancient diets into our modern-day eating habits can contribute significantly to our overall health and wellbeing.