What if the secret to combating chronic illnesses like obesity and high cholesterol could be found in our diets?
This is the question that the Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay (MIND) diet seeks to answer.
The MIND diet is a new eating pattern that combines elements of the heart-healthy Mediterranean and DASH diets.
Researchers wanted to see if following this diet could influence general obesity and blood lipid profile, which is a measure of the fats in your blood, like cholesterol and triglycerides.
Methods: Gathering the Data
To investigate this, the team conducted a cross-sectional study. This type of study looks at data from a specific point in time. Their participants were 1,328 Kurdish adults, aged between 39 and 53.
The team used a 168-item Food Frequency Questionnaire (FFQ), a tool that is both valid and reliable, to evaluate their dietary intake.
They then calculated a MIND diet score for each participant, which shows how closely they follow the MIND diet based on its key components.
The team also took some measurements of each participant, like their height and weight. These are known as anthropometric measurements.
Plus, they documented each participant’s lipid profiles, which gives us information about the fats in their blood.
Results: The Power of the MIND Diet
The average age and body mass index (BMI) of our participants were 46.16 years and 27.19 kg/m2, respectively. The BMI is a measure that helps us understand if a person has a healthy body weight.
The team found that those in the third tertile of the MIND diet score, meaning they adhered to the MIND diet the most, were 42% less likely to have high serum triglycerides.
Triglycerides are a type of fat found in the blood, and high levels can lead to heart disease.
In the initial model and even after adjusting for other factors that could influence the results, we found that the MIND diet was also associated with a reduction in high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C).
HDL-C is often called ‘good’ cholesterol because it helps remove other forms of cholesterol from your bloodstream.
Conclusion: A Step Toward a Healthier Future?
This study suggests that greater adherence to the MIND diet may be associated with lower odds of general obesity and an improved lipid profile. However, further research is necessary.
Chronic diseases like Metabolic Syndrome (MetS) and obesity are increasingly prevalent and can severely impact an individual’s health.
If the MIND diet can help tackle these issues, it could represent a significant step toward a healthier future.
But before scientists get there, we need more studies to confirm our findings and understand the underlying mechanisms.
The research was published in Frontiers in Nutrition.
Copyright © 2023 Scientific Diet. All rights reserved.