The Mayo Clinic and John Hopkins agree that a Mediterranean diet — rich in fresh fruits, vegetables, olive oil, nuts, seeds, legumes, unrefined whole grains, low fat dairy products such as yogurt and fish — offers heart-healthy benefits. But a Mediterranean diet also benefits your brain. Studies show that people who closely follow a Mediterranean diet seem less likely to develop cognitive decline when compared with people who don't follow the diet. The diet is a derivative of the Omega Diet.
The APO E Gene Diet
Everyone's body is built around and largely controlled by the genes we inherit from our biological parents. This basic blueprint is called a genotype. One of the most influential genes that predisposes us to a myriad of chronic diseases is the APO E 4 Gene (found on chromosome 19). This gene is associated with increased brain inflammation and reduced brain anti-oxidant activity.
The APO E 4 gene is a "risk gene" which increases the likelihood of developing a disease, but does not guarantee it will happen. It is present in about 25 to 30 percent of the population. It is an established fact that people who carry the APO E 4 gene are more prone (40% - 90%, depending on the genetic expression) of developing late-onset AD. Forty percent of people that develop late onset Alzheimer's have the gene.
Conversely, you can get AD without having the APO E 4 gene, suggesting the existence of additional environmental and genetic factors responsible for late-onset AD. There are large research projects underway to further define the role of genetics and AD.
Importantly, there are lifestyle choices, including diet and exercises that can mitigate the likelihood of developing AD if you know you have this gene. Even an agreed upon healthy diet, such as low fat, might be the wrong diet for a specific genotype. Knowing your genotype is the key to these choices and diminishing the risk of developing AD or other illnesses.
A blood test is available to check for the APO E 4 gene. The genotyping and the interpretation of the results are currently available if one wants to find out more about this interesting and important subject.
* Statements on this website have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease or condition. Consult your physician before taking any vitamins or supplements or making any significant dietary changes.
The USDA Food Pyramid NO
This is the food pyramid that until June 2011 was recommended by the United States Dept of Agriculture. which is upside down compared to a healthy diet.
Note that bread, cereals, rice and pasta form the base of the pyramid.
It's no wonder that so many Americans are overweight and beset with chronic illnesses
New USDA Food Plate
In June 2011 the USDA replaced its pyramid the a food
plate called 'My Plate"
It is s split into four sections -- red for fruits, green for
vegetables, orange for grains, and purple for protein --
with a separate blue section for dairy on the side.
The icon makes it clear that fruits and veggies should make up half of your meal, while protein is the smallest part of the plate. The grain portion is a bit larger and still offers the advice to "make half your grains whole," which some nutritionists say leaves too much room for less healthy refined grains such as white rice and white bread.
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The "Mind" Diet: YES YES
A 2015 study published in Alzheimer's and Dementia from Rush University in Chicago found that a diet coined the "MIND" (Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay) Diet reduced the risk of Alzheimer’s by as much as 54%.
It was also found to have protective powers, even when not followed rigorously. Researchers found that adults who followed the diet only part of the time still cut their risk of the disease by about 35%.
It was developed by combining the Mediterranean and DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diets and was specifically designed according to the latest research on how nutrition affects the brain.
The eating pattern goes big on natural plant-based foods while limiting red meat, saturated fat and sweets. Researchers found that people who stuck to a diet that included foods like berries, leafy greens, and fish had a major drop in their risk for the memory-sapping disorder.
It differs from the Mediterranean diet in that it emphasizes consuming more green leafy vegetables and berries rather than other fruits, and recommends fish to be eaten 5X/week. It emphasizes 10 foods that should be eaten and 5 foods to avoid.