What is the best diet to maintain for reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s?

According to U.S. News and World Report, the MIND diet has been ranked as the easiest diet to follow and the second-best diet for healthy eating for 2016.

The MIND diet was created to combat Alzheimer’s disease and the acronym is short for “Mediterranean-DASH diet Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay.”

Developed by nutritional epidemiologist Martha Clare Morris and her colleagues at Rush University Medical Center, the MIND diet may reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s by as much as 53 percent if the diet is followed rigorously. And, in the study, those who didn’t follow the diet strictly still showed an approximate 35 percent reduction of risk for the disease.

The diet consists of 15 components: 10 healthy brain foods and five main foods to avoid.

The healthy foods include green leafy vegetables, other vegetables, nuts, berries, beans, whole grains, fish, poultry, olive oil and wine.

The foods to limit are red meat, butter/margarine, cheese, pastries/sweets and fried or fast foods.

The plan focuses on nutritious whole foods and berries, like strawberries, and nuts, which are high in healthy fats, antioxidants and fiber. In addition to reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, the diet is good for the heart and overall health.

Those who follow the MIND diet should monitor food portions and be careful how food is prepared. Many sauces, breading and oils can add sugar or extra calories.

It’s also very important to drink several glasses of water daily.

When regular exercise is included in the diet and stress is managed, the risk of the disease can become even lower.

Researchers recognize that more studies need to be done on the MIND diet approach, but it has had a promising start. And it shows how the foods people eat can make an impact on whether they develop late-onset Alzheimer’s.

Questions about Alzheimer’s disease or a related dementia disorder? Contact Dana Territo, the Memory Whisperer, Director of Services at Alzheimer’s Services of the Capital Area, (225) 334-7494, advice@alzbr.org, or visit the organization at 3772 North Blvd., Baton Rouge.