Monday, June 13, 2016
Savvy Senior: The new MIND diet may help prevent Alzheimer's
Dear Savvy Senior, I've heard that there's a new diet that can help prevent Alzheimer's disease. What can you tell me about this? My 80-year-old mother has Alzheimer's and I want to do everything I can to protect myself. — Concerned Daughter
Dear Concerned, It's true! Research has found that a new diet plan — called the MIND diet — can have a profound impact on your brain health as you age and can even lower your odds of getting Alzheimer's disease.
The MIND diet takes two proven diets — the heart-healthy Mediterranean diet and the blood-pressure lowering DASH diet — and zeros in on the foods in each that specifically affect brain health.
The MIND diet, which stands for Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay, was developed by Martha Clare Morris, a nutritional epidemiologist at Rush University Medical Center, through a study funded by the National Institute on Aging.
The study followed the diets of nearly 1,000 elderly adults, who filled out food questionnaires and underwent repeated neurological testing for an average of 41/2 years.
It found participants whose diets most closely followed the MIND recommendations had brains that functioned as if they were 71/2 years younger, and it lowered their risk of developing Alzheimer's disease by as much as 53 percent. And even those who didn't stick to the diet perfectly, but followed it moderately well, reduced their risk of Alzheimer's by 35 percent.
The MIND menu
The MIND diet has 15 dietary components. The emphasis is on eating from 10 brain-healthy food groups, and limiting foods from five unhealthy groups. Here's a rundown of the healthy foods you should work into your diet:
And the five unhealthy food groups you should limit include:
One of the best things about the MIND diet is that it's easier to follow than most other diets and you don't have to stick to it perfectly to gain the benefits, which makes it more likely you'll follow it for a long time. And the longer you eat the MIND way, the lower the risk of getting Alzheimer's disease.
Story Source: The above story is based on materials provided by CAPITALGAZETTE
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