Dr. Nikolas Scarmeas, of Columbia University in New York, has an update to a study originally published in 2006. The initial study found that participants, who closely followed an eating pattern similar to the “Mediterranean diet”, had a lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.
The updated analysis, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, confirmed the findings of the original study. Participants adhering closest to a Mediterranean-style diet, had a 40% lower risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
What exactly is the Mediterranean diet? Actually, it’s not a single diet, but an approach to eating followed by people of that region. The basic components of the diet are:
- Greater consumption of vegetables, fruits, fish, legumes, nuts, and cereals;
- Low consumption of dairy products, poultry, and meat;
- Higher intake of monounsaturated fat, such as olive oil; and
- Mild to moderate alcohol consumption.
A Mediterranean-style diet, has previously been associated with lower risk of heart disease and some types of cancer. Dr. Scarmeas’ study has shown another benefit of this pattern of eating, in terms of better brain health.
The Bottom Line: It truly appears, that you are what you eat. The effects of a diet high in fish and plant foods, are increasingly associated with reduced risk of several chronic diseases. Your health may also benefit, from these healthier eating practices. You don’t have to do it all at once, just incorporate some of the food items gradually over time.
What are you having for dinner tonight?
It’s your life, live well.