Posted by: Chris Maloney | April 26, 2015

Does The MIND Diet Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease?

I’m always excited by a breakthrough diet, so I was thrilled by Prevention’s report of a diet that halved the risk of Alzheimer’s Disease. This particular breakthrough is a hybrid of the Mediterranean diet and the DASH diet, both mainstays of modern healthy eating.

According to the Prevention article, even sort of following the MIND diet (which stands for Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay, which spells MDIND to me) lowers your risk of Alzheimer’s by a third. That’s great news!

Now we get to the difference between an article selling magazines and an article telling about a study. If you look at the original study abstract, they followed less than a thousand people for less than five years, and they based the findings on a questionnaire.

Not as robust as we’d like, but let’s still look for the MIND Diet: Alzheimer’s Cure book coming to bookstores near you in time for Christmas. Except the original study didn’t say that. It said: “High adherence to all three diets (DASH, Mediterranean, or MIND) may reduce AD risk. Moderate adherence to the MIND diet may also decrease AD risk.” So all three diets help reduce Alzheimer’s Disease risk, but that won’t sell magazines, so we focus on the second sentence that says even moderately following the MIND diet may help.

We’d like to see a larger group of people follow this sort of diet for a longer time, but the reality is that we really have no good treatments for Alzheimer’s Disease. So, in the interest of lowering all of our Alzheimer’s Disease risks, and with a nod to Prevention for supplying the summary, here’s the list of the things you should do to get MINDful with your diet.

salmon

“Perfect MIND dieters eat:

  • At least 3 servings of whole grains a day
  • 6 servings of leafy greens a week plus one other veggie serving a day
  • 2 servings of berries a week
  • 1 serving of fish a week
  • 2 servings of poultry a week
  • 3 servings of legumes a week
  • 5 servings of nuts a week
  • A daily serving of alcohol, preferably red wine for its long list of health benefits
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