In southern European countries, the "Mediterranean Diet" is widespread and lauded as a healthy way to eat. It includes very little red meat, lots of veggies, lean fish and plant-based food. It's been cited as one of the best ways to manage weight, stay in shape, and even hold off heart disease and dementia. There are studies that have shown some correlation between the diet and a reduced risk of dementia. A recent study from the Mayo Clinic showed that those patients who followed the Med diet or at least had a higher consumption of vegetables versus meat and fat, had lower amounts of beta-amyloid plaques in the brain. The build of these plaques is one of the main causes of Alzheimer’s disease
Timing is key. In many patients, Alzheimer’s dementia isn’t recognizable until the disease has progressed to the later stages. The diet cannot reverse signs of dementia, so the team at the Mayo Clinic stressed that adopting healthy eating habits early in life is the best way to reduce your risk of developing Alzheimer’s. While there have been several studies that show the diet is beneficial for keeping the brain healthy, it's also full of good fats, lean protein, and legumes, all of which are part of a solid diet for many health issues including heart disease, high blood pressure and weight management.