Health Tip Tuesday: These foods could be linked to slowing down dementia risk! What are they?
MIND diet was designed by researchers to help improve risk of cognitive decline associated with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. The MIND diet is a combination of the Mediterranean diet and DASH diet (Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension). The Mediterranean diet has been associated with decrease in heart disease risk while the DASH diet has been associated with controlling and decreasing blood pressure. The MIND diet is short for Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay. This diet is designed to help combat the deterioration in brain function that occurs as part of the aging process and possibly decrease risk of dementia, and slow cognitive decline.
The MIND diet places an emphasis on increasing foods that are protective to brain health while limiting foods that could are harmful to health.
Which foods does the MIND diet encourage:
Vegetables: with an emphasis is dark, green, leafy vegetables daily
• One serving per day of day of spinach, kale, romaine lettuce, collard greens
• At least 2 servings of vegetables daily
o One cup raw or ½ cup cooked
Fruit: emphasis on berries which are high in antioxidants
• Strawberries, blueberries, blackberries
• ½ cup per day most days of the week
Nuts: unsalted nuts and nut butter
• 5 oz per week
Whole Grains: whole grain bread, quinoa, oats, whole grain pasta
• 3 servings per day
• 1 slice or ½ cup
Fish: any fish that is not fried
• 1 serving at least 1x/week
Beans: any bean including kidney, cannellini, white, navy
• ½ cup – 3 servings per week
Poultry: white meat such as chicken and turkey
• At least 2 servings per week – anywhere from 3-5 oz servings
Olive oil: Extra Virgin Olive Oil
• 2 Tbsp per day
Wine: no more than one glass if you drink wine
These foods are anti-inflammatory and high in antioxidants which may help minimize the development of dementia.
Which foods does the MIND diet discourage or to minimize daily?
Butter and margarine
• Replace with olive oil
• < 1 tsp per day Cheese • No more than 2 oz per week (1 slice = 1 ounce) Pasties, refined sweets • Cakes, cookies, pastries, donuts, brownies, ice cream • Limit to no more than 4 servings per week Red Meat • Hot dogs, sausages, burgers • No more than 3 servings per week (3 to 5 ounces = 1 serving) Fried Food • Limit to one meal per week These foods are high in saturated fat and trans fatty acids – both of which have been associated with an increase in heart disease risk and likely Alzheimer’s risk. MIND is a relatively new diet with limited but hopeful research that suggests decreased risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Given the combination and success of the Mediterranean and DASH diet, it looks promising, although additional research is needed.