Planned Giving

Text Resize
Print
Email
Subsribe to RSS Feed

Saturday June 25, 2016

Savvy Living

Savvy Senior

The New MIND Diet May Help Prevent Alzheimer's

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.

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 zeroes 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. The participants filled out food questionnaires and underwent repeated neurological testing for an average of 4.5 years.

It found participants whose diets most closely followed the MIND recommendations had brains that functioned as if they were 7.5 years younger and it lowered their risk of developing Alzheimer's disease by as much as 53%. Even those who didn't strictly follow the diet reduced their risk of Alzheimer's by 35%.

The MIND Menu


The MIND diet has several different dietary components. The emphasis is on eating from brain-healthy food groups and limiting foods from unhealthy groups. Here's a rundown of the healthy foods you should work into your diet:

  • Green leafy vegetables (like spinach and salad greens): Eat at least one serving per day.
  • Other vegetables: At least one other vegetable a day.
  • Whole grains: Three or more servings a day.
  • Nuts: Five one-ounce servings a week.
  • Beans: At least three servings a week.
  • Berries: Two or more servings a week.
  • Fish: Once a week.
  • Poultry (not fried): Two times a week.
  • Olive oil: Use it as your primary cooking oil.

And the unhealthy food groups you should limit include:

  • Red meat: Eat fewer than four servings a week.
  • Butter and margarine: Less than a tablespoon daily.
  • Cheese: Less than one serving a week.
  • Pastries and sweets: Less than five servings a week.
  • Fried or fast food: Less than one serving a week.

Other Benefits


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 easier to follow for a long time. And the longer you eat the MIND way, the lower the risk of getting Alzheimer's disease.

Another advantage is that the MIND diet can help you lose some weight too, if you keep your portions in check and are careful about how the food is prepared.

It's also important to understand that even though diet plays a big role, it's only one aspect of Alzheimer's disease. Getting regular exercise, quitting smoking (if you smoke) and learning how to manage stress can even further reduce your risk of Alzheimer's.

Savvy Living is written by Jim Miller, a regular contributor to the NBC Today Show and author of "The Savvy Living” book. Any links in this article are offered as a service and there is no endorsement of any product. These articles are offered as a helpful and informative service to our friends and may not always reflect this organization’s official position on some topics. Jim invites you to send your senior questions to: Savvy Living, P.O. Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070.

Published June 17, 2016
Print
Email
Subsribe to RSS Feed

Previous Articles

Simple Smartphones for Seniors

Simple Steps to Protect Yourself from Melanoma Skin Cancer

How to Pick a Medicare Advantage Plan

Simplified Tablets Designed for Tech-Challenged Seniors

How to Replace Vital Documents that are Lost or Stolen

scriptsknown