The MIND diet isn’t a fad diet, and it doesn’t promise a swimsuit body by Spring.  People usually have the wrong idea when they hear the word ‘diet’.  So let’s get this straight right now.

In this article, diet refers to ‘what you eat’ on a daily basis.  When I say ‘diet’ I’m not talking about a revolutionary weight-loss formula that you have to follow rigidly.  Instead, think of it as a way of life.

Let’s face it, today’s grocery store is full of preservatives and processed foods.  It’s not just sweets that kill us (and the truth is, not all sugar is bad), it’s the chemicals and lack of actual nutrients that are destroying us.  In particular, this article is going to address disease prevention, particularly Alzheimer’s Disease, or AD, through the food we eat.

MIND Diet Explained

A relatively new diet on the scene, the MIND Diet, combines the DASH diet and the Mediterranean diet (again, diet means ‘daily food choices’, not ‘weightloss recipes’), with one key factor, it’s focused on foods that help the brain.

You get 10 brain-healthy food groups to choose from; leafy green vegetables, nuts, berries, whole grains, fish, poultry, olive oil and wine.  You’re going to shy away from 5 unhealthy groups: red meat, butter, margarine, cheeses, sweets, fried food and fast food.  You limit yourself to one serving per week of the unhealthy stuff (so you can still go to In-and-Out once in awhile).

The MIND diet was developed by Martha Morris from the Rush University Medical Center where she’s a nutritional epidemiologist.  According to an extensive study, if you eat this way you could give yourself a 53 percent less chance of developing Alzheimer’s.  That’s pretty significant.

Independant Studies Support The MIND Diet

Chiefly, there have been a couple of large U.S. studies that have come up with similiar findings, claiming that consuming at least two servings of vegetables a day can significantly slow cognitive decline.  If you can get at least six servings a week of leafy green vegetables, you’ll do even better.  Population studies also support a single fish meal per week to reduce mental decay.

How It Works

While all the details aren’t hashed out exactly (it’s THAT new) here’s the grand scheme.  Each day, you’ll eat a salad plus one other vegetable.  You’ll also have at least three servings of whole grains.  The diet also recommends a glass of wine each day (hey, why not?) but that isn’t a requirement.

Snacks throughout the day will include nuts, and every other day you eat one-half cup of beans.  Once a week you have at least one serving of fish, twice a week you have poultry and a half-cup of berries.  Olive oil is used for most of your cooking and dressings.

What To Avoid

Here’s the down side – there are some foods you need to limit each week.  No more than four servings of red meats, no more than five servings of sweets.  Only one tablespoon of butter PER DAY.  Less than one serving of cheese, fried food or fast food – each week.  But the good news is you don’t have to count calories, you just eat lots of good stuff and less of the bad.

Keep in mind you may lose weight following the MIND diet, but that isn’t what it’s for.  The focus is on brain-healthy foods, and if you’re approaching an age where keeping your cognitive reasoning skills is a concern, this may be the best course of action.

Voted #2 by US News.