Scientific Nutrition – the MIND Diet

Jan 15, 2018

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We finally have evidence for and Alzheimer’s prevention diet and the best foods to eat to prevent alzheimer’s.
Our guest this week, Dr Martha Clare Morris is the architect of the MIND Diet and a leader in the field of nutrition and the brain.

In this Episode You Will Learn:

Dr Morris’ team showed that the MIND Diet, a hybrid diet of the Mediterranean Diet + the DASH Diet.
To summarize the basic component of the MIND diet is:
Foods to Eat:
  • Green leafy vegetables (eg mixed greens, spinach and salads): At least six servings a week
  • “Other” vegetables: At least one a day (eg squash, broccoli, etc)
  • Berries: Two or more servings a week
  • Nuts: At least five servings a week
  • Beans: At least three servings a week
  • Whole grains: Three or more servings a day
  • Fish: at least once a week
  • Poultry (e.g. chicken or turkey): at least twice a week
  • Olive oil: Use as your main cooking oil.
  • Alcohol or Wine: One shot/glass a day (note: a “glass” is not half a bottle)
 Foods to Avoid:
  • Red meat: 3 times per week or less.
  • Butter and margarine: Less than a tablespoon daily
  • Cheese: Less than one serving a week
  • Pastries and sweets: Less than five servings a week.
  • Fried or fast food: Less than one serving a week.
The people with the best MIND Diet scores (in the top 3) developed half of the cognitive decline than the people with the lower scores.  53% reduction in the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.
We discuss a little bit about how difficult nutrition research is to conduct.
Dr Morris discusses how some of the foods/nutrients work to prevent the changes that occur in Alzheimer’s.
Dr Morris discusses her current research trial that is being conducted at Harvard and Rush University at Harvard.
We discuss the controversies of gluten sensitivities and other food sensitivities.
We discuss which foods are good and bad for the mind. She notes that transfats and saturated fats increase the risk for Alzheimer’s.  High saturated fat may impair the blood brain barrier.  Unsaturated fats seem to correlate more with good brain health and lower levels of Alzheimer’s. She points out DHA (an omega 3 fatty acid) as an important fat in particular for neurotransmission.
Fried foods are bad for the brain because they have high amounts of harmful fats as well as leach out the good fats.
It’s not clear whether or not coffee is good or bad long-term for the brain.

Resources Mentioned:


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