The ever-changing landscape of diet and weight loss trends has seen many fads come and go. However, one diet that has consistently demonstrated positive impacts on human health is the Mediterranean diet. A recent study on brain health has shown that adhering to this diet can help in safeguarding against dementia.
Mediterranean diet can slow down dementia
The research conducted in Germany indicates that the Mediterranean diet, which emphasizes the consumption of fish, olive oil, and vegetables, supports healthy brain aging. Additionally, it may prevent the accumulation of harmful proteins in an individual’s brain, the cause of Alzheimer’s disease, which is the most common dementia form.
According to scientists, consuming significant quantities of red meat, fried, sugary, and fatty foods can accelerate brain aging by several years. This conclusion was reached after reviewing study participants’ dietary habits and assessing their cognitive capabilities.
The study focused on examining anomalous proteins called tau and amyloid. Amyloid is known to cluster together and create hazardous brain plaques, while tau proteins can fold irregularly and create tangles that impede brain activity. These issues are commonly observed in individuals who suffer from Alzheimer’s disease.
The Mediterranean diet is characterized by its high consumption of monounsaturated fatty acids such as olive oil, fruits, cereals, legumes, and fish and vegetables. Adherents of this dietary regimen usually restrict their intake of dairy products, meat, and saturated fatty acids.
Reduction in diet score correlates with aging
In a study involving more than 500 participants, researchers conducted brain scans and asked the subjects to recall their food consumption over the previous month from a list of 148 items. Based on the total scores obtained, the team assessed how closely each individual adhered to a Mediterranean diet on a scale of zero to nine.
Individuals who received full marks were found to consume healthy foods such as vegetables, fruits, and fish, while only occasionally consuming red meat. The findings indicated that the brain aged by nearly a year for every point reduction in the diet score.