MIND Diet Could Help Lower Dementia Risk

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MIND Diet Could Help Lower Dementia Risk
MIND Diet Could Help Lower Dementia Risk

(HealthDay News) -- Adults who follow the "MIND" diet could lower risk for Alzheimer's, according to research published online in Alzheimer's & Dementia.

The eating plan emphasizes healthy grains, vegetables, beans, poultry, and fish while also allowing for a limited amount of less healthy red meat, butter, and sweets. The MIND diet combines aspects of the better-known Mediterranean diet with certain features of the so-called DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet, both of which call for high consumption of fruits, vegetables, and fish. But while the MIND diet stresses the importance of plant-based foods, green leafy vegetables, and blueberries, it does not push much consumption of fruit, fish, dairy, or potatoes.

To explore how the MIND diet potentially affects Alzheimer's risk, investigators analyzed food questionnaires completed by 923 men and women between 58 and 98 years old. All were enrolled in the Rush Memory and Aging Project. The surveys, completed between 2004 and 2013, set out to quantify each respondent's intake of 144 food items the prior year. No dietary intervention was involved. Participants were then tracked for an average of four to five years, during which time they underwent repetitive neuropsychological testing.

Out of 923 adults, 144 developed Alzheimer's during that time. Those whose food consumption conformed with the MIND diet were much less likely to develop the progressive brain disorder than their peers (53 percent lower risk for Alzheimer's for those following it rigorously; 35 percent for those following it moderately well). Tight adherence to the DASH or Mediterranean diets also was linked to reduced risk for Alzheimer's, but loosely following either of those diets resulted in little mental benefit, the researchers found.

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