health Scientists Say There’s Another Big Benefit To A Mediterranean Diet Not to mention it's packed with a lot of rich, bold flavors. Scientists Say There’s Another Big Benefit To A Mediterranean Diet Photo by David Silverman/Getty Images
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Enjoying a diet that consists largely of whole grains, veggies, nuts, and seafood (commonly known as a Mediterranean diet) has long been tied to a number of positive health benefits, including:

  • Better heart health
  • Diabetes prevention
  • Lower depression rates
  • Weight loss
  • Arthritis improvement

Now, scientists have evidence of yet another apparent perk: protection against cognitive decline.

The dementia factor

According to Dr. Janice Ranson of the University of Exeter and a team of researchers, the results compiled from more than 60,000 subjects show a clear correlation across the board.

Ranson explained: “The protective effect of this diet against dementia was evident regardless of a person’s genetic risk, and so this is likely to be a beneficial lifestyle choice for people looking to make healthy dietary choices and reduce their risk of dementia.”

The study found that nearly 900 people from the test group developed dementia over the course of the nearly 10-year study — and those who followed a Mediterranean diet were about 23% less likely to be in that group.

It’s not a panacea, though

While this and similar studies do offer some pretty compelling arguments for packing in the good fats and enjoying the robust flavors that dominate the Mediterranean region, it’s important not to put too much stock in one particular factor when it comes to your health.

Exercise and giving up bad habits are also important. And as Alzheimer’s Research UK policy expert Susan Mitchell noted: “There is a wealth of evidence that eating a healthy, balanced diet can help reduce the risk of cognitive decline. But the evidence for specific diets is much less clearcut.”

Nevertheless, researcher Dr. Oliver Shannon added that there are few effective treatments for dementia, so it’s helpful to take every preventative step available … including a Mediterranean diet.

Chris Agee
Chris Agee March 15th, 2023
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