MIND diet may cut Alzheimer’s risk
In the fight against Alzheimer’s disease (AD), researchers say they have a new weapon that shows promise in reducing the risk of getting the disease.
The new MIND diet, a hybrid version of the Mediterranean DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet, may protect against Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia, experts say. Results from a new study published in the journal Alzheimer’s & Dementia show that the diet can reduce the risk of AD by as much as 53 percent if followed closely. Even for those who don’t follow it rigorously, the risk may be cut by 35 percent.
Created by Rush University Medical Center nutritional epidemiologist Martha Clare Morris, PhD — MIND stands for “Mediterranean – DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay.”
“One of the more exciting things about this is that people who adhered even moderately to the MIND diet had a reduction in their risk for AD,” Morris says in a press release.
The diet consists of the healthy foods, but also foods considered less-than-healthy. The key, researchers say, is the amounts of each consumed. It calls for whole grains, berries, green leafy vegetables, nuts, fish and other highly nutritious choices, but also allows for small servings of red meats, dairy, sweets and other usually forbidden options.
Allowing for small portions of the not-so-healthy choices makes the diet easier to follow, study leaders say.
Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia among older people, and may affect as many as 5 million Americans, according to the National Institute on Aging.
Researchers admit the MIND diet isn’t the magic bullet in the fight against AD, but should be considered along with a healthy lifestyle.
“As is the case with many health-related habits, including physical exercise, you’ll be healthier if you’ve been doing the right thing for a long time,” says Morris.
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