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Mediterranean Diet Good For Your Brain

Mediterranean dietMany long-held myths about what is good or bad for you continue to be busted. Take the demonization of fats for instance. Some people today still avoid virtually all kinds of fats. Not only is this not healthy but it could be bad for your brain, as some fats may improve brain function.

Perhaps the most popular healthy diet today, the Mediterranean diet is best known for supporting heart health. A recent study showed that it may also help improve cognitive function. However, according to the study, the diet which already incorporates healthy fats may work better with even more fats.

The Mediterranean diet traditionally includes relatively high servings of fish, fruits, vegetables, and (whole) grains, and is very low on trans fats,[1] but relatively high dose of olive oil.

The study done in Barcelona Spain, involved 450 older adults divided into 3 groups for a period of approximately four years. One group was on a low fat diet, a second on a Mediterranean diet plus a liter of extra virgin olive oil per week, and a third on the Mediterranean diet plus with 30 grams of nuts per day (not necessarily in that order).

The results, after an average period of four years, showed that the two groups on the Mediterranean diet had superior cognitive function such as memory, reasoning, and language, than the group on a low fat diet.

While the researchers opine that in future this may be of significance to the prevention of dementia, this is not an entirely new finding as it has been known that the Mediterranean diet may help reduce the risk of this mental condition.[2] But I know this: I will start to take this diet more seriously.

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[1] Mediterranean diet: A heart-healthy eating plan

[2] Alzheimer’s Society: How to reduce your risk

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