The Mediterranean Diet — comprised of eating mostly plants (vegetables, fruit, beans) – has maintained its golden reputation, backed by decades of scientific research. Studies have again and again shown that this diet protects against obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. Now evidence also suggests that this diet could lessen the risk for cognitive decline and lifetime risk of dementia.
The Mediterranean diet is mostly plant-based, with an emphasis on limiting saturated fat. This diet suggests a high intake of fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, fish, and unsaturated fatty acids such as olive oil and avocado. It also encourages a moderate intake of dairy, wine, and poultry. Finally, it recommends a low intake of red meats and sweets.
Unlike many fad diets, the Mediterranean diet does not advocate for a large restriction of carbohydrates. The guidelines instead suggest that healthy carbohydrates be consumed—those found in vegetables and whole grains. This gives another benefit to the Mediterranean diet: it’s high in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds that combat the oxidative processes that occur within the aging brain.