Thursday, April 2, 2015

MIND Your Diet

Scientists, doctors and nutritionists have known for years that what you eat has a huge impact on your health.  We don't need to watch Supersize Me to understand that food high in fat, salt and sugar is really bad for us.  Individuals who have particular medical conditions may follow particular diets to try to improve their overall health.  For example, a colleague of mine eats blueberries every day to keep a lower blood pressure and my father-in-law consumes red rice to reduce cholesterol.  You've probably heard of the Atkins diet for weight loss or the Mediterranean diet for a healthy heart.  Now there's the MIND diet.

The MIND diet combines aspects of the Mediterranean diet with the DASH diet which reduces hypertension and appears to help protect against Alzheimer's.  Strict adherence to the diet suggests greater than 50% risk reduction while moderate adherence seems to impart about a 35% reduction of a person's risk of developing Alzheimer's.

While diet is just one component of a person's risk factors, this study is very interesting.  A second study released this week also indicates that green leafy vegetables are beneficial for slowing cognitive decline.  Given these studies, my husband will have to just accept that his salads will no longer contain iceberg lettuce.

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