Mediterranean Diet in the Spotlight Again
The Mediterranean diet made global headlines again recently when the results of the latest study regarding the healthy eating pattern were revealed. According to research published online in the Journal of the American Medical Association-Internal Medicine, the plant-based diet, combined with supplemental extra virgin live oil and/or nuts, can slash the risk of cognitive decline among older people.
A randomized clinical trial conducted in Spain has concluded that older men and women at risk for cardiovascular disease can significantly reduce the incidence of age-related cognitive decline by following the supplemented diet. After about four years, subjects who consumed a Mediterranean diet supplemented with one liter per week of extra virgin olive oil, or about one ounce per day of tree nuts such as walnuts, hazelnuts or almonds, were significantly less likely to experience cognitive decline compared to subjects who consumed a low-fat diet without those antioxidant-rich foods.
"Our results suggest that in an older population a Mediterranean diet supplemented with olive oil or nuts may counteract age-related cognitive decline. The lack of effective treatments for cognitive decline and dementia points to the need of preventive strategies to delay the onset and/or minimize the effects of these devastating conditions. The present results with the Mediterranean diet are encouraging…” the authors of the study concluded.
This underscores something I’ve been saying for years: extra virgin olive oil is a crucial component of the extremely healthful Mediterranean diet and lifestyle. I’ve also encouraged readers to embrace heart-healthy nuts, because they appear to combat heart disease while helping suppress appetite and discourage overeating.
Cinta Valls-Pedret, Aleix Sala-Vila, Mercè Serra-Mir, Dolores Corella, Rafael de la Torre, Miguel Ángel Martínez-González, Elena H. Martínez-Lapiscina, Montserrat Fitó, Ana Pérez-Heras, Jordi Salas-Salvadó, Ramon Estruch, Emilio Ros. Mediterranean Diet and Age-Related Cognitive Decline. JAMA Internal Medicine, 2015; DOI: 10.1001/jamainternmed.2015.1668