What did they eat in the sixties?

January 6, 2021
the sixties diet

I ate so much party food and drank gallons of sparkling wine over the December period – which is fabulous and I have no regrets – but now I want to get back to my healthier lifestyle.

As much as I love binge eating and drinking, I don’t fancy buying a whole new wardrobe to accommodate an expanding waistline. If I continue any longer, a bunch of Oompa Loompas will appear out of nowhere and roll me out of my home office.

So as I was lost in a scroll hole of healthy eating on Pinterest, I came across a diet that was inspired by the sixties – The Mediterranean Diet.

The diet was inspired by the lifestyles of people living in countries like Greece, Spain and Italy during the 1960s. They seemed to be a lot healthier than we are today and a lot fitter.

The diet is known to be good for your heart, your diabetes AND you can drink wine. Straight away I was hooked.

So, how did they eat in the 1960s that was so good?

Caprese Salad By Inside The Rustic Kitchen

Like any good diet, they ate lots of fresh fruit and veggies. Vegetable-based dishes were their main meals and fruit was served as a snack or dessert. They would only use local,  seasonal veggies which were often organic. And even to this day, a lot of people in the mediterranean use veggies that they’ve grown in their own garden.

They were coffee drinkers – especially the Italians. They drank coffee once or twice a day. If they didn’t fancy a coffee, they’d go for a herbal tea like chamomile or mint. But the main beverage du jour was water which probably is the reason for their fantastic skin.

Image Found On Pinterest

People in the sixties did not shy away from the cheese. They would eat dairy almost daily with two to three servings a day. They’d pick natural yoghurts, goats cheese and ricotta.

They drank wine! Hallelujah. Their diet consisted of one to two glasses every day with dinner.

Image found on Pinterest

They rarely ate meat. Especially red meats. The Greeks used to abstain from eating meet for 200 days a year. Meat tended not to be consumed unless it was a holiday. And they only had a small helping of eggs each week.

But they did eat a lot of fish. Sometimes even twice a week. The mediterranean diet encourages a lot of fish and occasionally chicken, but fish is favoured the most.

In the sixties, they always had their dinners with company. Having dinner parties, getting the family together and sharing food was a part of their celebration of food. They’d also maintain an active lifestyle with walks and exercise (maybe to walk off the cheese).

White Beans & Tomato By The Cookie Rookie

Beans were a huge part of their diet, often beeing eaten 3-4 times a week. In the 60s, they often ate them in a stew with tomato.

40% of their calories came from carbs, wonderful carbs. They’d eat a pasta dish once a week and eat bread daily. But the diet says to stay away from refined grains (so no white breads only whole grains).

Olive oil was the main fat in their diet. They’d pour it over their veggies, their salads and fry their eggs in it. It was their liquid gold. The Mediterranean Diet actively promotes healthy fats over saturated and trans fats.

All of the above sounds ideal to me, so I’ve decided to embark on my own little ‘sixties diet’ this year. I’ll probably posting a lot of my home cooking on my Instagram.

If you would like to learn more about the Mediterranean diet you can find a complete guide on Olive Tomato.

P.S. I’ve also written a blog post about snacks that were popular in the 1960s here.


  • Diana
    September 19, 2022

    What a load of rubbish. None of this is true. I was a child of the sixties and we had bread and butter, sandwiches, meat or fish and 2 veg every day. Drank wine, nonsense we had tea and lots of it with 2 sugars. Your diet didn’t come until the 80s.

    • MandyMorello
      September 21, 2022

      Did you live in the Mediterranean? Sounds like an English diet…

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