Though research on the MIND diet is still in its beginning stages, observational studies are very promising! Scientists are finding that the diet may reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and slow the cognitive decline that often happens as people age. 

The MIND diet, an abbreviation for Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay, focuses on plant-based foods and a lowered consumption of saturated fats, red meat, and sweets.

Continued below is a breakdown of the diet as well as sample meals for three days! 

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Senior Care in San Diego 

Thanks for joining us for our series on dementia and Alzheimer’s research. Perhaps you or a loved one was recently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. Or maybe you are just wanting to do everything you can to preventatively boost your brain health. If you’re interested in exploring Alzheimer’s and dementia research, this series is for you! 

Evidence-based care is a huge priority for us at Harbor View Senior Assisted Living in downtown San Diego (as well as at our sister sites, Mesa View Senior Assisted Living and Bay View Assisted Living) and we hope you will appreciate diving into the research with us! 

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Observational Studies on the MIND Diet 

To date, there have been two large-scale, observational studies of the MIND diet. Though these studies can’t be used to prove cause and effect, the results can provide researchers with valuable health information that can then be further studied. 

In researching 923 older adults, subjects who adhered to the MIND diet the most closely had a 53% lower risk of Alzheimer’s disease than people who stuck to the diet the least.  

Those who followed the MIND diet only moderately still seemed to experience significant benefits. Individuals that loosely adhered to the diet, reduced their risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease by an average of 35%!

How does it work? Scientists hypothesize that the diet’s ability to reduce inflammation, oxidative stress, and harmful beta-amyloid proteins is the reason for its success in boosting cognitive health. 

5 Food to Avoid, 10 to Focus On

To simplify the MIND diet, here are the 5 foods or food groups that should be avoided, and the 10 food or food groups to include. Find out more in our next installment! 

AVOID

  • Butter or margarine
  • Cheese
  • Red Meat
  • Fried Foods
  • Pastries and Sweets

FOCUS ON

  • Green, leafy vegetables
  • All other vegetables
  • Berries
  • Nuts
  • Olive oil
  • Whole Grains
  • Fish
  • Beans
  • Poultry
  • Wine

Sample 3 Day Meal Plan

The greatest obstacle to making healthy changes to diet and lifestyle can be the feeling of being overwhelmed. Rather than trying to make massive changes all at once, research shows that small, incremental changes over time lead to long-lasting health impacts. Outlined below are three sample days of eating according to the MIND. 

Friday

  • Breakfast: Wheat toast with avocado, omelet with peppers and onions.
  • Lunch: Chili made with ground turkey.
  • Dinner: Greek-seasoned baked chicken, oven-roasted potatoes, side salad, wheat dinner roll.

Saturday

  • Breakfast: Overnight oats with strawberries.
  • Lunch: Fish tacos on whole wheat tortillas, brown rice, pinto beans.
  • Dinner: Chicken gyro on whole-wheat pita, cucumber and tomato salad.

Sunday

  • Breakfast: Spinach frittata, sliced apple and peanut butter.
  • Lunch: Tuna salad sandwich on wheat bread, plus carrots and celery with hummus.
  • Dinner: Curry chicken, brown rice, lentils.

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Best Senior Assisted Living Community in San Diego 

We are committed to evidence-based care at Harbor View Senior Assisted Living (as well as at our sister sites, Mesa View Senior Assisted Living in La Mesa and Bay View Assisted Living in Point Loma) and being familiar with relevant research is an important part of the care we provide. 

We pride ourselves on preparing meals that are good for our residents’ bodies and minds. We frequently update our meal plans and can accommodate specific diet needs and preferences. To find out what meals set us apart give us a call and schedule a COVID safe tour of our one-of-a-kind assisted living home in San Diego!