What Should We Be Eating?

Posted on September 30, 2015 by Anne Ellett

There are many research studies being conducted about lifestyle choices and effect on prevention of cognitive decline.  Many studies are validating the benefits of a healthy diet and an active lifestyle on maintaining brain health.

It’s impossible to report on all of the recent and current studies but from time-to-time, I want to highlight results of some key research studies related to diet or lifestyle.

The MIND Diet - adherence to the MIND diet was associated with significant lower rate of cognitive decline.  The MIND diet divides our food choices into 15 groups:

The good choices includes these 10 groups:

  • Green leafy vegetables (like spinach and salad greens): Six or more servings a week
  • Other vegetables: At least one a day
  • Nuts: Five servings a week
  • Berries: Two or more servings a week
  • Beans: At least three servings a week
  • Whole grains: Three or more servings a day
  • Fish: Once a week
  • Poultry (like chicken or turkey): Two times a week
  • Olive oil: Use it as your main cooking oil
  • Wine: One glass a day
The choices to avoid include:
  • Red meat: Less than four servings a week
  • Butter and margarine: Less than a tablespoon daily
  • Cheese: Less than one serving a week
  • Pastries and sweets: Less than five servings a week
  • Fried or fast food: Less than one serving a week

The MIND diet is healthy for your heart and vascular system, and will also decrease your risk of stroke and heart attack!  This is great news – this is something we can all do to decrease the possibility of brain and cardiac disease – there isn’t any medication that can offer all of those benefits!

You can start following the MIND diet with the Healthy Mind Cookbook by Rebecca Katz and Mat Edelson.  It will inspire you to make good choices!

In another recent study, a link was found between being obese or overweight in mid-life and increased risk for earlier onset of Alzheimer’s disease.  This study was conducted by the National Institute on Aging (NIA).  The body mass index (BMI) of people 50 years old was followed for many years, and results showed that people who were overweight in mid-life were more prone to developing Alzheimer’s disease at a younger age than those people who were not overweight. Perhaps the link between being overweight and earlier development of Alzheimer’s disease is related to the increased risk of diabetes and hypertension that obesity can cause.  

All good reasons to pay attention to what we put in our mouths – Now go enjoy a glass of wine with some hummus and whole-grain crackers – sounds wonderful!


Posted in Edelson, Healthy Mind, Healthy Mind Cookbook, Katz, Mat Edelsen, MIND, MIND Diet, Rebecca Katz