A friend of mine passionately follows New York Times articles about new medical diet studies, e.g., “eat blueberries and you won’t get Disease X.” My response to her admonishments to read and then adhere to these diet fads was always “You can read all of the best medical literature on diet and by the end of the project you won’t know any more than a good physician in Ancient Rome. The Roman doctor would have said ‘Don’t eat too much meat. Eat a lot of vegetables. Maybe some fish. Get exercise.’ What more or different would a modern doctor say?”
Now it turns out that even the New York Times is confirming what I was telling my friend for the last 10 years with “Mediterranean Diet Is Shown to Ward Off Heart Risks”. After 2000 years of progress the 10 lb. heads behind the study advocate that people eat “olive oil, nuts, beans, fish, fruits and vegetables, and even drink wine with meals.”
So that gets back to my question… what do we know today that the Romans didn’t know about diet and lifestyle? The main thing that I can come up with is the dangers of lead exposure.