It is not a secret that a Mediterranean diet and its variations, such as MIND- and DASH-diets, slow down cognitive decline in adults over the age of 65. These diets include daily consumption of vegetables, fruit, berries, legumes, nuts, olive oil, fish, potatoes, unrefined cereals, and a moderate wine consumption. However, according to a recent study, frequently eating unhealthy foods (such as fried foods, refined grains, sweets, red and processed meats, full-fat dairy products and pizza) seems to diminish the positive effects of an otherwise healthy diet.

The study was conducted from 1993 to 2012 and included 5.001 older adults over the age of 65. The researchers examined the relation between Mediterranean diet and changes in participants’ global brain health, episodic memory and perceptual speed. The participants whose diet was closest to the Mediterranean diet, were cognitively 5,8 years yonger compared to those who ate more of the unhealthy foods. This is because the unhealthy foods lead to higher inflammation and faster cognitive decline as you age.

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Tatsiana Haponava, PhD

a certified nutrition coach, educator and researcher with a PhD degree

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