According to a new study published in the Archives of Neurology, people who eat a Mediterranean diet have a lower risk of mental decline. Eating a Mediterranean diet also appears to slow decline in people who have already been diagnosed with some cognitive impairment, reports the New York Times.
A Mediterranean-style diet emphasizes lots of fruit, vegetables, olive oil and fish, and moderate amounts of alcohol. Adherents eat relatively little meat or dairy.The study followed 1,293 people, with an average age of 77. After five years, 275 people had developed some cognitive impairment, but people who followed the Mediterranean diet closely were 28 percent less likely to have developed any impairment. The study also followed 482 people already suffering from some cognitive decline. Those people on the Mediterranean diet were 48 percent less likely to go on to develop Alzheimer's disease.
What Does This Mean for Wellness Professionals?
We know the Mediterranean diet is good for the waistline, as well as for the heart. Now there's a third reason to love French, Greek and Italian cuisine.
Emphasize that a Mediterranean-style diet may help them lose weight, maintain their heart health and stay mentally young. That's a smart diet.