When you hear the word diet, you might think only of weight loss. But a lifestyle diet can bring even greater benefits.
One option that belongs on your radar is the MIND diet created by researchers at Rush University in Chicago.
MIND stands for Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay. It’s a hybrid of those two heart-healthy diets, both of which reduce the risk of high blood pressure, diabetes, heart attack and stroke.
In initial studies, the MIND diet offered a huge additional benefit — lowering the risk of Alzheimer’s disease by up to 53% in participants who stuck to it rigorously and by about 35% in those who only did so moderately well. But the key is to start now, no matter your age, because it seems like the longer you follow it, the lower your risk of developing Alzheimer’s.
- Green leafy vegetables and other vegetables
- Blueberries or strawberries
- Whole grains
- Olive oil
- Red meat
- Butter and stick margarine to less than a tablespoon a day
- Cheese, pastries, sweets, fried or fast food to one serving in total per week
The MIND diet isn’t complicated. Each day have at least three servings of whole grains, a salad and one other vegetable along with a glass of wine. On most days, make nuts your snack. Have beans every other day, poultry and berries at least twice a week, and fish at least once a week. Equally important is what not to eat. Keep solid fat under one tablespoon a day. Once a week it’s OK to choose one indulgence — cheese or a pastry or a fried or fast food.
Read more about the MIND diet and tips for sticking to it at social gatherings at Rush University.