30 Days of Health and Contentment: Day 18, MIND Your Diet for Life

easy, no mayonnaise coleslaw

As long as the sun is shining, we can weather these single-digit temperatures, right?

Are you keeping up with your exercise plan? Remember that the plan is flexible. The goal is to be active, and get in at least 3 weekly 40-minute aerobic workouts in your target heart-rate range.

Yesterday, we looked at components of the Mediterranean diet and noted how the diet supports the idea of incorporating more plants into our diets.

Today, let’s look at the MIND diet and what research shows about the foods we eat and how they affect our chances of contracting Alzheimer’s disease.

MIND Your Diet

The MIND diet is based on the Mediterranean diet and the DASH diet for cardiovascular health. Additionally, researchers added some food guidelines based upon validated studies in the nutrition field.

One thing I noticed right away about all of these diets is that they are not food lists, like we are used to seeing. These are guidelines (like the Pirate Code) for healthy eating.

pirate
© 2014 Lazarus. Licensed under CC-BY.

Here are the MIND guidelines:

(Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MIND_diet)

The MIND diet recommends:[9]

  • Green leafy vegetables(like spinach and salad greens): at least six 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 chickenor turkey): two times a week
  • Olive oil: use it as your main cooking oil.
  • Wine: one glass a day

The diet discourages:[10]

  • Red meat: more than four servings a week
  • Butterand stick margarine: more than a tablespoon daily
  • Cheese: more than one serving a week
  • Pastries and sweets: more than five servings a week
  • Fried or fast food: more than one serving a week

If you can plow through a bit of scientific verbage, you can read the results of the MIND Diet Study here.

Basically, the study found that the MIND diet substantially slows cognitive decline with age. That is, you keep your marbles longer when you follow the MIND guidelines; and the closer you adhere, the better your results will be.

Alarmingly, the study also found that:

Participants with the lowest scores had lower education, were more likely to be obese and to have diabetes, and reported fewer hours of physical activity and more depressive symptoms. (Table 2)

Yes, we are tired of studies, and so many of them are tainted by special interests. So we take them with a grain of salt, so to speak.

However, there is an emerging public push toward healthful eating, combating neurological decline, and understanding the gut/brain connection.

Dementia is now the 6th leading cause of death in the U.S. and the prevention of cognitive decline, the hallmark feature of dementia, is a public health priority. It is estimated that delaying disease onset by just 5 years will reduce the cost and prevalence by half. Diet interventions have the potential to be effective preventive strategies.

If you use common sense, you can see that the MIND guidelines fall into what we know about good nutrition and healthy lifestyles.

An added plus? That one glass of red wine each day!

Featured photo: no mayonnaise slaw recipe

Here’s a copy to cut out for the fridge:

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© 2018 auntjoannblog.com. All rights reserved. See Legalese tab for permissions.This post is not intended to offer medical advice. Check with your doctor before beginning any diet or exercise plan.

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