There's a new diet that's causing some excitement in the health world. You may have heard it mentioned on a quick health section on your local news, but it probably won't be promoted across social media.
The diet is a mash up of the Mediterranean diet and the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet. It's called the MIND diet, and a study at Rush University found that it may be able to reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer's by 53%.
The MIND diet was created specifically for the Rush University study. They created it by taking what we already knew about certain foods and their good or bad effect on brain function. They selected over 900 people in the Chicago area and had them report on the foods they ate over a 9 year period and monitored them for the development of Alzheimer's dementia. They found that those who followed the MIND diet appeared 53% less likely to develop Alzheimer's than their peers who did not follow the diet.
Now, Alzheimer's is a complicated disease that appears to have many contributing factors. This was also only one study following a small group of people in one geographical area. There need to be more studies looking at this diet and its benefits. However, the initial study is very promising.
I think the most exciting aspect of the Rush study suggests that even those who followed the MIND diet only "moderately" well still saw a 35% reduction in their risk of developing Alzheimer's. Most people are not going to follow a diet perfectly 100% of the time, so if you can mostly follow the diet you can still benefit, which makes it functional in the real world.
In the end, the MIND diet isn't all that different from what nutrition professionals have been saying for years. The diet has 10 food groups to eat regularly and 5 to limit or avoid.
10 Food Groups to Include
-Green leafy vegetables
5 Foods to Limit or Avoid
-Fast food/fried foods
-Pastries and sweets
-Butter and stick margarine
The study also suggested that the longer people had been following the MIND diet, the more protective the benefits. Which means it's never too early to start.
Taryn is a Los Angeles based Registered Dietitian who's passionate about helping you be your healthiest you.