High Quality Diet Linked to Less Cognitive Decline

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A high quality diet is linked to less cognitive decline. According to studies, a diet that is consistent with the current healthy eating guidelines, is associated with a reduced risk of cognitive decline and suggests that healthy eating may reduce the risk of cognitive decline in addition to the previously reported associations with cardiovascular disease and mental decline.

The lead author of a large cohort study on this matter, Dr Andrew Smyth, MMedSc, research fellow, Population Health Research Institute, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada says that the take home message from this study is that high diet quality, which is consistent with current healthy eating guidelines, is associated with a reduced risk of cognitive decline and suggests that healthy eating may reduce the risk of cognitive decline in addition to the previously reported associations with cardiovascular disease.

For this particular study, 27,860 people from 40 different countries, were followed for an average of about 5 years. All of the participants in the study were 55 years of age or older. They all had a history of heart disease, peripheral artery disease or stroke. The memory skills and thinking skills of the participants were evaluated at the start of the study, two years into the study and then again after about five years.

The participants were asked about their diet and how often they ate certain types of food such as fruit, vegetables, meat, grains, fish, fried foods and alcohol. They were also asked how much meat and eggs they consumed.

The results of this study showed:

People with the healthiest diet were 24 percent less likely to have cognitive decline than those with a more unhealthy diet;

A healthy diet is consistent of more fresh food and less packaged and highly processed foods. It is also important to follow and healthy lifestyle in partnership with a healthy diet.


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