Diet Shown to Reduce Risk for Dementia

A study from Rush Medical School in Chicago showed that a special diet can reduce the risk for Alzheimer's disease by 53 percent in those who follow the diet rigorously, and by 35 percent in those who mostly follow it and cheat some of the time (Alzheimer’s & Dementia, February 11, 2015). People who followed the diet consistently over many years received the most protection.

The study diet, called the MIND Diet, follows the basic rules of the Mediterranean and DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diets that are currently being used to help prevent and treat heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes and certain cancers. The MIND Diet recommends that you eat large amounts of:

• Green leafy vegetables

• Other vegetables

• Nuts

• Berries

• Beans

• Whole grains (not flour)

• Fish

• Poultry

• Olive oil

• Wine is permitted in moderation

You are supposed to try to avoid:

• Red meats

• Butter and margarine

• Cheese

• Pastries and sweets

• Fried foods and fast foods

The diet includes at least three servings of whole grains, a salad and one other vegetable every day. Nuts and beans are permitted on most days. You can eat poultry every other day and fish once a week.

The authors say, "With late-onset Alzheimer's Disease, genetic risk factors are a small piece of the picture. Past studies have yielded evidence that suggests that what we eat may play a significant role in determining who gets Alzheimer's and who doesn’t."

Checked 12/2/18

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