Tuesday, April 21, 2015

A Diet to Avoid Alzheimer's?!

Just read a great article  by Sumathi Reddy in the Wall Street Journal entitled "A Diet Might Cut the Risk of Developing Alzheimer's."  Well, that's a pleasant thought!

"Experts say there is a growing awareness that lifestyle factors-- not just genetics--play a prominent role in the development of Alzheimer's, and researchers hope to come up with an optimal diet that will lessen the chances of developing the disease."  Yes!!

The diet was developed at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago.

Called the MIND diet, it is a combination of the Mediterranean diet and the DASH diet.  The DASH diet (Dietary Approaches to Hypertension) was designed to reduce high blood pressure.  Thus the acronym Mediterranean- DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay. MIND Diet. Clever.

OK. So what's the diet?  Here it is.

Green, leafy vegetables-- a salad and one other vegetable every day
Other vegetables
Beans-- three times a week
Berries (especially blueberries)-- twice a week
Whole grains- three servings a day
Fish-- once a week
Poultry-- two or more servings a week
Olive oil
Wine-- one glass a day
Nuts-- five times a week   LOVE this one!!

And avoid the following!!

Red meats
Butter and stick margarine
Pastries and Sweets
Fried and fast food.

Those who followed this diet closely lowered their risk of Alzheimer's by 53%.  Those who followed it moderately lowered their risk by 35%.  So it's even worth doing it halfway!!

The only thing surprising and problematic for me is the whole grain requirement, because I can no longer eat gluten.

David Perlmutter in his book Grain Brain makes a strong case that gluten is bad for everyone and that it's especially bad for the brain.

Well, they're just getting started on this idea.  I'm just excited by the idea that diet can impact one's risk of Alzheimer's.  That's very good news!

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