A Mediterranean Diet May Lower Brain Damage Risk

A Mediterranean Diet May Lower Brain Damage Risk

A Mediterranean diet may lower brain damage risk. That’s right, a Mediterranean-style diet may help people avoid the small areas of brain damage that can lead to thinking problems with age. That’s what research suggests. Doctors assessed the diets of 712 people in New York. They divided them into three groups based on how closely they followed a Mediterranean-style diet. That would include a high intake of vegetables, whole grains, and fish, a low intake of saturated fat and meat, and moderate alcohol use. Results showed that those who closely followed the diet were 36% less likely to have small areas of brain damage on an MRI scan. Not eating a Mediterranean diet had the same effect on the brain as having high blood pressure. This is from an American Academy of Neurology’s annual meeting which was held in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

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Study of Diets and Cholesterol

Study of Diets and Cholesterol

It was a fascinating report in the New England Journal of Medicine looking at three approaches to diet; the low-carb diet, the low-fat diet, and the so-called Mediterranean Diet. They all achieve weight loss and improve cholesterol, but the low-carb diet improved cholesterol more than the other two. The study lasted two years and 85% of the people stuck to their diets. That’s pretty amazing. Three hundred and twenty-two participants who worked in a controlled environment, in an isolated nuclear research facility in Israel, got their main meal of the day. For breakfast or dinner the participants were on their own, but the dieters were counseled on how to stick to their eating plans and they were asked to fill out questionnaires on what they ate. In case you are wondering, the low fat diet included no more than 30% of calories from fat, restricted calories and cholesterol and focused on low fat grains, vegetables and fruits as options. The Mediterranean Diet had similar calorie, fat and cholesterol restrictions and emphasized poultry, fish, olive oil and nuts.

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