Community Blog

What is the Recommended Diet for Dementia?

By Vicki and Brian Day

If you haven’t heard yet, there is a hybrid diet that has been developed with the goal of lowering people’s risk of developing dementia. Dementia is a group of symptoms that are associated with diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. The symptoms often include memory loss, impaired ability to reason or make plans, and disorientation severe enough to interfere with the everyday activities of living.

This diet is a combination of two popular programs—the Mediterranean and the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diets. It is aptly called the MIND diet which stands for Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay. And studies conducted on its ability to keep dementia at bay are promising.

Studies

According to a study published in Alzheimer’s & Dementia: the Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association, participants who strictly adhered to the MIND diet showed a 53 percent lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s. Those that only moderately followed the diet were found to have a 35 percent lowered risk.

A study conducted on almost 6,000 seniors and sponsored by the U.S. National Institute on Aging reported that those on the MIND diet were approximately 35 percent less likely to perform poorly on tests of brain function.

The Diet

The MIND diet consists of both recommended foods and foods to avoid or limit. Daily meals consist of at least three servings of whole grains, a leafy green salad, an additional vegetable and a glass of red wine (if you happen to drink alcohol). As with the Mediterranean diet, olive oil should be your choice of fat. The snack of choice is nuts and seeds. Protein is derived from beans at least every other day, poultry at least twice a week and fish once a week. As for fruit, berries are the only one that is listed as essential—in other words, blueberries and strawberries should be consumed at least twice a week.

The foods to avoid or limit include red meats, butter, margarine, cheese, pastries and sweets, and fried or fast food.

In Addition to Diet

Other lifestyle changes that can reduce the chances of developing dementia or possibly help slow its progression include daily exercise, mental activities and remaining socially engaged and
active.

Senior Care Provider

A senior care provider can assist your loved one with the daily tasks of living. They can also do the grocery shopping, prepare healthy meals, and get out the board games or puzzles. Shared meals and an exercise companion go a long way in helping your parent remain active, healthy and engaged as they age.

Resources
http://www.cbsnews.com/news/mediterranean-mind-diet-linked-to-lowering-risk-of-dementia/
https://www.rush.edu/news/diet-may-help-prevent-alzheimers
http://www.womenshealthmag.com/weight-loss/mind-diet

IF YOU OR AN AGING LOVED ONE ARE CONSIDERING SENIOR CARE IN SLATINGTON, PA, PLEASE CONTACT THE CARING STAFF AT HOME HELPERS. CALL TODAY! (610) 365-4266.