Medieval diets 'far more healthy'

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If they managed to survive plague and pestilence, medieval humans may have enjoyed healthier lifestyles than their descendants today, it has been claimed.
Their low-fat, vegetable-rich diet - washed down by weak ale - was far better for the heart than today's starchy, processed foods, one GP says.

And while they consumed more they burnt off calories in a workout of 12 hours' labour, Dr Roger Henderson concludes.

But the Shropshire GP accepts that life for even prosperous peasants was tough.

But after examining the available records, Dr Henderson suggests that medieval meals were perhaps even better than the much touted "Mediterranean" diet enjoyed by the Romans.

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John R. Maass - 12/21/2007

They also did not have McDonalds.

Bert S Hall - 12/19/2007

There is a growing body of evidence suggesting that the diets of the medieval poor (though not those of the rich) were in fact healthier than their modern counterpart. These insights should be qualified by recognition that this was the case when times were good, i.e. in the absence of natural or man-made famines. Death rates in the middle ages were conditioned by organic diseases far more than by "lifestyle choices."