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“The Mediterranean diet, rich in olive oil, fish, and vegetables, and moderate in wine and spirits, is linked to a slower rate of cognitive decline in those of us who are older”–Paul Ebeling
Every 3 yrs, the 3,759 individuals 65 anni and older were involved in the study, had a cognitive assessment which tested things like basic math skills and memory. Also they completed a questionnaire on how frequent with 139 food items were consumed, which ranged from olive and oil cereals to alcohol and red meat.
How closely each of the individuals followed a Mediterranean diet was then analyzed, which included daily consumption of foods such as vegetables, fruit, legumes, fish, olive oil, non refined cereals and potatoes, and wine. The average individual scored 28 out of a maximum score of 55, the maximum score indicating complete adherence to the Mediterranean diet.
Individuals having higher scores were also those who showed a slower rate of decline in cognitive tests, even when other factors, like education level, which could account for the result, were considered.
How closely individuals followed the Healthy Eating Index-2005, based on the 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommendations, was also analyzed. Higher scores which indicate stricter adherence to this index, giving less weight to legumes, fish, and moderate alcohol intake, did not correspond with differences in cognitive decline rates.
The results add to other research showing that a Mediterranean diet reduces the risk of certain cancers, diabetes and heart disease. The more olive oil, vegetables and fish are incorporated into our diets and moderate wine consumption, the more our aging bodies and brains benefit.
The Mediterranean Diet is a way of eating based on the traditional cuisine of countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea. These include Italy, Greece, Spain, and Israel. The diet typically consists of the region’s traditional fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, seafood, olive oil, and dairy – with perhaps a glass or two of red wine.
The Mediterranean Diet is about more than just eating delicious, wholesome food though. Regular physical activity and sharing meals with family and friends are vital elements of The Mediterranean Diet. Together, they can have a profound impact on your mood and mental health and help you foster a deep appreciation for the pleasures of healthy eating and delicious foods.
The Mediterranean Diet is an inexpensive and satisfying way to eat that can help you live a healthier and longer life.
How to follow it:
- Eat: vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, legumes, potatoes, whole grains, herbs, spices, fish, seafood, and extra virgin olive oil
- Eat in moderation: poultry, eggs, cheese, and yogurt
- Eat rarely: red meat, sugar-sweetened beverages, added sugars, processed meat, refined grains, refined oils, and other highly processed foods
- Water should be your go-to beverage on a Mediterranean diet
Eat healthy, Be healthy, Live lively