According to a study published in The Archives of Neurology in February, following a Mediterranean diet lowers the risk for mental decline, and may prevent Alzheimer's in people with existing memory problems. And that's not all.
The Mediterranean diet comes from countries like Italy and Greece. The foods include whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, fish, and olive oil along with low amounts of meat, dairy, saturated fats, and alcohol. The diet is high in fiber, monounsaturated fats, and antioxidants, which are thought to have anti-aging effects and can prevent or reduce the risk of chronic diseases. Research has shown that the Mediterranean diet can lower the risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer, and Parkinson's in addition to Alzheimer's. It can also help control diabetes by regulating blood glucose levels.
So how do you incorporate these foods in your every day life? Kaitlyn Allegrucci, a Marywood University student dietitian and Penn State Cooperative Extension intern offered some simple ways to help you follow the Mediterranean diet in Scranton's The Times-Tribune:
- Eat a handful of nuts each day
- Included fish 2-3 times a week
- Cook with extra virgin olive oil instead of butter
- Switch to low-fat cheese, skim milk, and fat-free yogurt
- Eat red meat sparingly
- Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables every day
- Drink wine - no more than 4 or 5 ounces for women and no more than 8 to 10 ounces daily
- Exercise by walking or riding a bike
Do you follow the Mediterranean diet? How has it helped you?