Scientists from Saint Louis University compared the impact of the Mediterranean diet, anti-inflammatory diet, seventh-day Adventist diet, and ketogenic diet on cognition and cognitive decline.
Cognitive decline can range from mild cognitive impairment to dementia, a form of decline in abilities severe enough to interfere with daily life.
Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia
Increasing evidence shows the importance of diet and its impact on cognitive decline.
In the current study, researchers aimed to clarify the impact of four diets on cognition: the Mediterranean diet, the anti-inflammatory diet, the Seventh-Day Adventist diet, and the Ketogenic diet.
The Mediterranean diet is a way of eating that’s based on the traditional cuisines of Greece, Italy, and other countries that border the Mediterranean Sea.
The foundation of the diet includes plant-based foods, such as whole grains, vegetables, legumes, fruits, nuts, seeds, herbs, and spices.
An anti-inflammatory diet favors fruits and vegetables, foods containing omega-3 fatty acids, whole grains, lean protein, healthful fats, and spices. It aims to reduce inflammation in the body.
The Seventh-day Adventist diet is a way of eating created and followed by the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
It focuses on whole plant foods, such as legumes, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and grains, and discourages the consumption of animal products as much as possible.
The ketogenic or “keto” diet is a low-carbohydrate, fat-rich eating plan that has been used for centuries to treat specific medical conditions.
The ketogenic diet is distinctive for its exceptionally high-fat content, typically 70% to 80%, though with only a moderate intake of protein.
They found among the diets reviewed, the Mediterranean diet provides the strongest evidence for the health benefits.
Studies regarding the anti-inflammatory diet and Seventh Day Adventist diet are sparse, and heterogeneous in quality and outcome measurements, providing limited reliable data.
There is also minimal research confirming the cognitive benefits of the Ketogenic diet.
Increasing evidence suggests the use of the Mediterranean diet to reduce cognitive decline.
The MIND diet, a combination of the Mediterranean and DASH diets, seems especially promising, likely due to its anti-inflammatory properties.
The Ketogenic diet may also have potential benefits; however, adherence in older people may be difficult given frequent negative effects.
The team suggests that future research should focus on long-term, well-controlled studies confirming the impact of various diets, as well as the combination of diets and lifestyle modification.
The research was published in Current Nutrition Reports and conducted by Jennifer To et al.
If you care about dementia, please read studies about how the Mediterranean diet could protect your brain health, and Vitamin B supplements could help reduce dementia risk.
For more information about brain health, please see recent studies that a high-fiber diet could help lower the dementia risk, and these antioxidants could help reduce dementia risk.
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