Posted On October 1, 2015

MIND Diet Reduces Alzheimers Risk

Reprinted with permission
Newsletter Photo - September 2015

Are you worried about your Alzheimer’s Disease risk?  Follow the MIND diet and you may be relieved to know that there is something you can do to cut your risk in half… simply by eating a healthy diet.  Even better, you do not have to be 100% compliant in order to benefit from this diet.  You just need to follow it most of the time!

This vegetable based diet may also explain the long, healthy lives of people who live in the Blue Zones (the places on earth where people routinely live to be 100 years old and have a lower than normal incidence of dementia).  If the idea of living longer, while staying healthy and thinking more clearly sounds appealing to you, you may want to try following this diet, too.

Facts about the MIND Diet
The MIND Diet was developed by Professor Martha Clare Morris and other researchers at Rush University in Chicago.  It is a mixture of the Mediterranean diet and the DASH diet (a blood pressure lowering eating plan).

MIND stands for Mediterranean-Dash Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay.

The researchers came up with the MIND diet after following 923 people between the ages of 58 and 98 over a period of nearly ten years.  While the Mediterranean and DASH diets also significantly lowered Alzheimer’s risk, this was only true when the participants were rigorous about following those eating plans.  The MIND eating regimen does not need to be followed quite so carefully.  In fact, those who followed the plan only moderately were still able to reduce their Alzheimer’s risk by 35%.

If you are interested in trying out this eating plan, what are the foods should you be eating and avoiding?

Foods to Eat on the MIND Diet
Vegetables – both green and other colors
Nuts
Berries
Beans
Whole grains
Fish
Poultry
Olive oil
Wine

Foods to Minimize on the MIND Diet 
Red meat
Animal fats
Sugary foods
Fried foods
Fast food

Eating Rules for the MIND Diet
Eat vegetables and and nuts daily
Eat poultry twice a week
Eat berries twice a week
Eat less than one tablespoon of butter a day

As you can see, even the foods you need to minimize, like animal fats, do not need to be eliminated completely.  Having a little real butter on a slice of whole wheat toast still keeps you within acceptable ranges.

In addition to lowering your Alzheimer’s risk, there is evidence that this eating style will also lower your risk of heart disease, as well as certain cancers.  The good news is that there is nothing harmful in this eating style and, if you “cheat” once in a while, you are still reaping the overall benefits.